Walnut loses Branding Iron, 7-57
Diamond Barâ€™s Antonio Hull, who ran a career total of 1,278 yards in his first and last season as starting running back: gone to the division one University of Wyoming. Quarterback Tyler Peterson, who had a career total of 5,822 all-purpose yards: gone. Outside linebacker Oswaldo De La Torre, who totaled 74 tackles his senior season: gone.
To replace the seniors who graduated last year, Diamond Bar has a 34 career carry running back, a first-year varsity senior quarterback and a first-year varsity sophomore linebacker.
The Mustang lineup includes three-year varsity starting quarterback senior Micah Maes, who has totaled 2,625 all-purpose yards, three-year varsity offensive lineman senior Hassan Nasir and a 40 total tackle defensive end.
â€śWe knew the Brahmas werenâ€™t as good as the previous years and we watched and studied enough film. We thought they didnâ€™t have what it took to beat us,â€ť linebacker senior Alex Yen said.
For the fifth consecutive year, varsity football lost the Branding Iron against Diamond Bar 7-57 on Friday, Sept. 4 at home. The Mustangs are 27-62-3 all-time against the Brahmas.
â€śGoing into the game we were really excited, confident and pumped up,â€ť Maes said. â€śBecause it was the Branding Iron, it is the most important game and we knew that we had to execute properly and play our game.â€ť
Maes led the Mustangsâ€™ offense with 21 carries and 168 rush yards, along with the Mustangs’ only touchdown.
At the beginning of the game, the Mustangs got off to an early lead after Maes ran for 51 yards, reaching the red zone in the first two minutes of the game. At the 8:30 mark, the Mustangs completed the 80-yard, six-play touchdown drive and were up 7-0.
â€śWe had a lot of confidence going into the game, but I think we were too over confident. We thought that we can beat them after coach told us that they werenâ€™t good as before. It just teaches us to be humble before games and not to underestimate our opponents,â€ť Yen said.
However, the Brahmas tied the game up after a 30-second, 85-yard touchdown from the Brahmasâ€™ running back senior Dimaggio Rico with eight minutes left in the first quarter.
On Walnutâ€™s next possession, running back junior Cameron Walker, who finished with three carries for 11 yards, ran for seven yards, looking to start another successful drive. However, the Mustangs were flagged for a 10-yard loss and punted on the fourth down. Diamond Bar took advantage of the punt and converted it into a touchdown putting the Brahmas up, 7-14.
On the Mustangsâ€™ following drive, Maes fumbled the ball, resulting in another Brahma touchdown.
As the game continued, the Mustangsâ€™ triple option offense failed to score against the Brahmaâ€™s defensive coverage, which caused an interception and two fumbles. The Brahmasâ€™ run game resulted in six total touchdowns.
â€śSome of us were frustrated, knowing that we couldâ€™ve scored much more, but we made silly mistakes,â€ť Maes said. â€śSome of the mistakes that we made were penalties that we couldâ€™ve avoided and our center switching throughout the game.â€ť
Overall, the team hopes to use this loss as an opportunity to improve from its 0-2 start of the season.
â€śWe can definitely build off of this; this is a giant learning experience,â€ť fullback senior Joshua Henry said. â€śWe just need to get our stuff together and start playing as a team and stop blaming each other for stuff.”
The Mustangs will play an away game against La Puente — a team it defeated last year 31-24 — on Friday, Sept. 11.
By Joshua Shen, Sports editor
Photo by Aaron Yong