WINSLOW, Ariz. - The Winslow Bulldogs defeated the Parker Broncs 20-13 in a hard fought Division IV Championship Playoff Game in Winslow Nov. 8.
The win improved Winslow's record to 8-3 and sent the Bulldogs into a second round game against the Seton Catholic Sentinels in Chandler on Saturday. The loss ended Parker's season with a 7-4 record.
Winslow failed to make a fourth and one gamble and gave the Broncs good field position at their 41 yard line. Parker then drove 59 yards in 11 plays and scored on a one-yard run by quarterback Cody Esquerra on a fourth and goal play.
The conversion run failed and Parker led 6-0 with just 2:27 left in the first quarter. That was the only score of the period.
Parker lost the ball on downs at the Winslow 39 yard line when a surprising fourth and six gamble failed.
Parker dodged that bullet but Winslow drove 62 yards and scored the next time they had the ball on an eight-yard run by Akkeem Foster.
Nick Marquez converted to give Winslow a 7-6 lead with 4:32 left in the half. That was the score at the intermission.
In the third quarter Winslow threatened to score but Parker's Ryan Gray intercepted a Bulldog pass in the end zone and returned it nearly to midfield and was in Winslow territory when the quarter ended with Winslow still leading by a single point, 7-6.
The Bulldogs got a huge break when Rey Chavez-Velez recovered a Parker fumble at the Bronc 29 yard line. Darrien Brown scored on a 14-yard run and Marquez converted to give Winslow a 14-6 lead with 6:28 left in the game.
Chavez-Velez, who had an excellent game as the Winslow quarterback, came up with another key defensive play when he intercepted a Parker pass at the Winslow 33 yard line. The Bulldogs drove 67 yards to score on an eight yard run by Brown.
That drive was kept alive by a fourth and 10 pass from Chavez-Velez to Foster. Parker blocked the conversion and Winslow led 20-6 with just 3:15 left in the game.
Jonathan Metarsney returned the kickoff 80 yards to get Parker back into the game. The conversion by Javier Torres cut the Winslow lead to 20-13 with 3:03 left in the game. Winslow recovered an important on-side kick off and drove the ball to the shadow of the Parker goal post when the game ended with the Bulldogs winning 20-13.
The game was well played by both teams. Winslow featured a running attack with Foster, Brown and Avery Smith turning in good performances. Foster was also a major factor on the Bulldogs defense along with Trey Hardy and Chavez-Velez.
The Bulldogs will play the Seton Catholic Sentinels in Chandler on Saturday. The Sentinels pounded the Page Sand Devils 70-0 Nov. 8 to improve to a perfect 11-0 for the season. The Sentinels are the top seed in the playoffs. Winslow is the eighth seed and Parker was the ninth seed.
In other games Snowflake defeated Combs 54-12 and will play host to Coolidge, a 41-35 winner over Florence. Estrella Foothills defeated Show Low 19-13 in a close game and will play River Valley who beat Fountain Hills 60-14. Sahuarita defeated Blue Ridge 42-0 Nov. 7 and will play Safford, a 49-14 winner over Walden Grove.