The Parker Broncs varsity football team had their first game of the 2020 season Friday, Oct. 2 in Parker. It was the “Battle for the Axe” with the Wickenburg Wranglers. Unlike recent Parker-Wickenburg match-ups, this was a competitive game that saw the lead change hands several times. In the end, however, the Broncs had to hand over the axe to the Wranglers as they won, 46-38.

“You have to give all the credit to Wickenburg,” Parker Coach Jeston Lotts said. “They played all four quarters.”

The Wranglers scored first and went up 7-0. The Broncs responded with a touchdown of their own from Uriah Martinez with a two-point conversion from Eman Alaniz. The Wranglers tallied again, the score at the end of the first quarter was Wickenburg 13, Parker 8.

The Broncs appeared to be pulling away in the second quarter. Uriah Martinez scored two more touchdowns for the Broncs, and they got the two-point conversion both times. The second touchdown came after quarterback Fabian Lamas hit Joe Martinez with a long bomb of a pass that put the Broncs deep in Wrangler territory. The Broncs led at halftime, 24-13.

The Wranglers’ Bryson Alder scored a touchdown with 8:20 left in the third quarter to make it 24-19. He scored two more touchdowns in the quarter, and the Broncs seemed incapable of stopping him. The Broncs got a touchdown from Alaniz on a pass from Lamas, and Lamas himself went in for the two-pointer. At the end of three, it was tied at 32-32.

The Broncs scored first in the fourth quarter on Martinez’s fourth touchdown of the evening. However, Alder made the entire second half The Bryson Alder Show as he scored two more touchdowns to make it five for the evening. His last one came on an interception with 4:11 left in the game.

Lotts had praise for Alder after the game.

“He’s very good,” Lotts said. “We knew that coming in.”

Lotts praised Uriah Martinez and Eman Alaniz for playing excellent games. He said he was also impressed with Joe Martinez.

“He ran the ball very well,” Lotts said.

Lotts said the game showed them what they need to work on, and they’ll be working on those things for the next two weeks.

The Broncs now have a break as their Oct. 9 game with the Antelope Rams was cancelled. Their next game will be Oct. 16, on the road against one of their 3A Agua Fria opponents, the St. John Paul II Lions. They are a new Catholic school, and this is their first year playing at the varsity level. They lost their season opener Oct. 2 to Bourgade Catholic, 38-0.

“We’ll be there for it,” Lotts said.

The Broncs overall record now is 0-1. They are in a tie for second place in the 2A Agua Fria. The Tonopah Valley Phoenix are in first place as they won their game Oct. 2 with Valley Lutheran, 28-7. Valley Lutheran is another 2A team. The other teams in the 2A Agua Fria, including Parker, Kingman Academy, St. John Paul II, Glendale Prep and Trivium Prep, all lost their season openers and tied with records of 0-1 each.

The Broncs’ next home game will be Oct. 23, when they face the Tonopah Valley Phoenix at 7 p.m. at Joe Bush Stadium.

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