KINGMAN - Monday was supposed to be the season opening soccer match for the Kingman High boys team in Parker, but it could easily be confused with a game of ping-pong.
KHS (1-0) was the last to hold serve as the Bulldogs sneaked away with a 4-3 win over the Broncs. The Bulldogs held three different leads only to see Parker (0-1) score and tie the match.
Justin Wilkerson got the Bulldogs scoring going early after receiving a pass that led to a header which squeaked past Parker keeper Miguel Torres. Wilkerson beat Torres to the ball and found an empty net, but in the seventh minute Parker's Javier Torres tied it up, 1-1.
"Compared to last year, our midfield is insanely good," KHS coach Kevin Wilkerson said. "They did have a really good keeper."
The score stayed 1-1 until the 31st minute when Bjorn Porlein gave the Bulldogs the lead, 2-1. That Bulldog lead lasted just three minutes when Parker was awarded a penalty kick that Rodrigo Hernandez put in the net to tie it again, 2-2.
That tie lasted five minutes, when KHS' Taylor Ferrin returned the favor with a goal on a penalty kick in the 39th minute just before half, which ended with the Bulldogs leading, 3-2.
"We literally had the ball three-fourths of the time," Wilkerson said. "We had to have had fired off 30 shots, and six or seven of those hit the post. For the first time, our shots looked professional grade."
The scoring slowed in the second half, and it wasn't until Javier Torres netted one for Parker in the 68th minute to tie the match yet again, 3-3. The tie lasted just two minutes when Porlein scored his second of the match, this time on a penalty kick to give the Bulldogs the lead for good, 4-3. There were five penalty kicks in the game, three for Kingman and two for Parker.
"Our team motto is 'control the ball, control the game,'" Wilkerson said. "Soccer is a game of keep away. Do that, get close to the goal and shoot."
KHS was back on the road Tuesday at Wickenburg. Results were not available at deadline.
"Wickenburg is our longest travel day this year," the coach said. "We've got high hopes going in."
KHS returns to the pitch when they have a rematch with Wickenburg at 6 p.m. Tuesday at KHS.
John Gutekunst of the Parker Pioneer contributed to this story.