The Parker Broncs football team has advanced to the next level of the state playoffs. With a 56-20 win over the Glendale Prep Griffins Nov. 20, the Broncs have advanced past the play-in stage and are now officially in the Arizona Interscholastic Association state 2A playoffs. The Broncs, who are seeded Nov. 5, will play the No. 4 team, the Arizona Lutheran Academy Coyotes at 7 p.m. Nov. 27 at Arizona Lutheran, which is located 6036 S. 27th Avenue in Phoenix.
Parker Coach Jeston Lotts praised the efforts of his team.
“I’m very proud of our young men,” he said.
Lotts also noted the Griffins played hard in the Nov. 20 game. They didn’t give up after falling way behind, and, with a touchdown with just 14 seconds left in the game, they showed they were playing for pride.
The first quarter looked like the game would be all Parker. Uriah Martinez put the Broncs on the board with 8:08 left in the quarter. Joe Martinez took in the two-point conversion. Then, Parker’s Alberto Larraga recovered the on-side kick in the ensuing kick-off. Two plays later, with 7:20 left in the quarter, Eman Alaniz had the Broncs’ second touchdown of the evening. Uriah Martinez got the two-pointer. With just six seconds left in the quarter, Cameron Poole caught a pass from Fabian Lamas for the Broncs’ third touchdown of the quarter. Jason Rodriguez took a pass from Lamas for the two-pointer.
At the end of the first quarter, Parker led, 24-0.
The Griffins didn’t give up. With 7:33 left in the half, Samuel Terpstra hit Joseph Valenzuela with a pass for their first touchdown. The two-point conversion attempt failed.
With 1:55 left in the half, Fabian Lamas ran it in from one yard out for Parker’s third touchdown. This was after the Broncs got into that position after Lamas hit Alaniz with a long bomb on a pass. The Broncs were hit with a 15-yard penalty on the two-point conversion attempt, which was no good.
The Broncs led at half-time, 30-6.
The Griffins’ defense stiffened in the third quarter as they forced the Broncs to turn over the ball on downs twice. Glendale Prep had its most spectacular play of the evening at 8:59 when Tepstra hit Valenzuela with a long pass and he made an even longer run for a touchdown.
The Broncs thought they had scored again at 4:30 following a 50-yard run from Joe Martinez. However, the touchdown was called back due to a “block to the back” penalty. The Broncs got it back a short time later, as successive passes from Lamas to Alaniz put the Broncs into the end zone. At the end of the third quarter, Parker led, 36-12.
In the fourth quarter, the Broncs scored on touchdowns from Alaniz, Anthony Taylor and Cameron Poole. The Griffins got the last word by scoring a touchdown and getting the two-point conversion with just 14 seconds left.
The Broncs next playoff opponent, Arizona Lutheran, finished the regular season with a record of 4-0, including 2-0 in their 2A Gila region. They placed second in their region. They made it to the playoffs with a 41-8 win over the Willcox Cowboys in a play-in game Nov. 20.
So far this year, including the game against Willcox, the Coyotes have outscored their opponents, 229-37.
It was a sign of the coronavirus pandemic that the Coyotes had only four regular season games this year. They also had only one road game, which was played Oct. 9 against one of the Broncs’ 2A Agua Fria rivals, the Tonopah Valley Phoenix. They won, 49-6.
The winner of the Parker v. Arizona Lutheran game will face the winner of the game between the No. 1 Benson Bobcats and the No. 8 Morenci Wildcats Dec. 5 at Higley High School.
For tickets to the Arizona Lutheran game, go to the brackets section of the AzPreps365.com website.