The Road Warriors have struck again. The Parker Broncs varsity football team remains undefeated on the 2021 season as they defeated the Camp Verde Cowboys, 36-16, Oct. 8 in Camp Verde.
The Broncs are solidly ranked No. 1 in the 2A conference in Arizona Interscholastic Association Power Points. Statewide media have started to take notice, and the talk is Parker is the odds-on favorite for the state 2A title.
Parker Coach Jeston Lotts said it was a great team effort. Anthony Taylor ran for 130 yards and a touchdown. Cameron Poole ran for 100 yards and a touchdown. He also caught a pass from quarterback Zack Bennett.
Lotts said one of the highlights on offense was when Abraham Silva, a lineman, rushed for a touchdown.
On defense, Lotts said the Broncs held the Cowboys to just 100 yards rushing. He said they usually ran for 300 or more yards. He praised Ethan Sale and Ezra Martinez for their defensive play.
The state media is starting to take notice of the Broncs. George Werner, writing on the Azpreps365 website, said that, for the first time in 50 years, the title could be Parker’s to lose. Some of the players have said their goal this year is to win the state title.
“Head coach Jeston Lotts isn’t one to disagree publicly, knowing that, ever since they were winning Colorado River Kids junior high championships and even Pop Warner leagues at younger than 10 years old, his group of seniors could at last be the successors to the back-to-back 3A state champions in 1970 and 1971,” Werner wrote.
The Broncs have taken to the title “Road Warriors” because they have not been able to play any games at home since their season opener Aug. 27 against Gilbert Christian. Their field, Joe Bush Stadium, sits on land held by the Colorado River Indian Tribes. The Tribes, who have prohibited large gatherings on Tribal land without a coronavirus mitigation plan, have said they will not approve such a plan until the Parker Unified School District adopts a district-wide face mask mandate.
The Arizona Republic has noted how the Broncs have adopted the “Road Warriors” title.
“The Broncs have taken the ‘Road Warriors’ mentality and run with it,” they said. “Nobody in 2A is going to want to see this team that will enter the playoffs with an edge and a chip on their shoulder.”
There are two games left in the season that are scheduled to be home games: Oct. 22 against Glendale Prep and Oct. 29 against Highland Prep. The Oct. 22 game is also the Homecoming game.
If the Broncs are not able to play at home for these games, Lotts and Superintendent Brad Sale said they have been in contact with the Lake Havasu City school district to play these games there. Sale has said he really hopes they can play the Homecoming game in Parker.
Lotts said he hopes the Broncs will be able to play state playoff games in Parker. He said this is something the team has been working for.
“They’ve worked hard for this,” he said.
Lotts and Broncs’ radio announcer Randy Hartless have both noted there have been many Parker fans who have traveled to watch this team on the road. They both said having Parker fans there to cheer for the team had helped inspire the players.
The Broncs are still undefeated at 6-0 overall. They are 1-0 against their 2A Agua Fria rivals and 5-0 against 2A teams. They are ranked No. 1 in the state by AIA Power Points, and are in first place in the 2A Agua Fria.
This week, the Broncs have another scheduled road game as they head to Kingman to play the Kingman Academy Tigers in another region game. The Tigers are 0-2 in the region and 1-6 overall. They are ranked No. 32 in AIA Power Points and are out of playoff contention. They’re coming off a 28-0 loss to Glendale Prep Oct. 8.
Lotts said the Tigers like to pass the ball a lot, and this is something the Broncs will need to work on.
Here are the standings in the 2A Agua Fria as of Oct. 10. Teams are listed by their records in the region, their records against 2A teams, and their overall records. In some cases, explanations are offered as to how teams were placed:
PARKER: 1-0, 5-0, 6-0; No. 1 in 2A conference
Glendale Prep: 2-0, 3-3, 3-4; No. 30 in 2A conference
Camp Verde: 1-1, 4-2, 5-2
Kingman Academy: 0-2, 1-5, 1-6; No. 32 in 2A conference
Highland Prep: 0-1, 1-5, 1-5; No. 37 in 2A conference