The 2019 Parker Broncs’ football team keeps rolling along. With a 56-20 win over the Veritas Prep Falcons Sept. 27 in Parker, they are still undefeated at 6-0. They’ll face one of their toughest tests this season on Friday, Oct. 4, when they began play against their 2A Verde opponents. Their first opponent will be the Trivium Prep Crimson Knights, who are also 6-0 on the season.
Against Veritas, the Broncs got on the board early and had a 16-0 lead late in the first quarter. With three minutes left in the quarter, the Falcons got on the board with a touchdown and a two-point conversion to make if 16-8 at the end of the first quarter.
Early in the second quarter, Parker’s Manuel Najera completed a long run to put the Broncs deep in Veritas territory. With 9:17 left in the half, Nejara carried in the ball for a touchdown and Uriah Martinez went in for the two-point conversion to make the score Parker 24, Veritas 8.
Not about to be outdone, Veritas quarterback Gage Lentz, who was throwing impressive long passes all night, hit Zachary Jackson with a pass for a Falcons’ touchdown with 4:49 left in the first half. The two-point conversion was no good, and the Broncs led, 24-16.
It looked like the Broncs had another score on a 61-yard run from Emanuel Alaniz with 3:29 left in the half, but this was called back on a holding penalty.
What happened in the final minute-and-a-half of play put the game away for the Broncs. With all the stops to the clock, it would stretch out to more than 10 minutes.
It started Trivium’s Jackson intercepted a pass in the end zone that was intended for Genaro Lopez. After having robbed the Broncs of a touchdown, the Falcons had possession. On the first play of this possession, Lentz tossed another one of his long passes which was intercepted by Alaniz. After a gutsy run, Alaniz was pulled down on the Falcons’ 2-yard line. On the next play, he took the ball in for a touchdown. The two-point conversion was good, and the Broncs built up their lead to 32-16.
After the kickoff, the Broncs held the Falcons deep on their end of the field. They punted on fourth down, and it was caught by Alaniz. He brought in back 75 yards for his second touchdown in less than a minute of playing time. With the two-point conversion, the Broncs led 40-16 at half-time.
Alaniz intercepted another of Lentz’s long passes with 5:37 left in the third quarter, and a penalty put the Broncs on their own 29-yard line. This time, however, the Falcons’ defense held, and the Broncs turned over the ball on downs.
The Broncs scored twice more in the fourth quarter, and the Falcons showed they still had some life in them when Lentz hit Jackson with a pass for a touchdown with 8:15 left in the game. The pass for a two-point conversion attempt was intercepted by Jake Hill. This made the final score Parker 56, Veritas Prep 20.
“This was a great team effort,” Broncs’ Coach Jeston Lotts said after the game. “We had some guys who were a little banged up, but others stepped up. All the guys stepped up.”
The Broncs are now 6-0 on the season, and 2-0 against 2A conference opponents. They’ll start play against their 2A Verde region opponents this week, Oct. 4, when they face the Trivium Prep Crimson Knights on the road. Lotts said this will be a real test for the Broncs, as the Crimson Knights are also off to a great start and are also 6-0. They’re coming off a 15-13 thriller win over Scottsdale Prep Sept. 27.
Lotts predicted it will be a rough game for both teams.
“It’s going to be a slugfest,” he said.
The Broncs’ next home game will be Friday, Oct. 11, when they take on another 2A Verde rival, the Camp Verde Cowboys. This is also the Homecoming game, with the Homecoming King and Queen being crowned after the game. Game time at Joe Bush Stadium is 7 p.m.