Walnut loses Branding Iron, 7-57

Diamond Bar’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.

“We knew the Brahmas weren’t as good as the previous years and we watched and studied enough film. We thought they didn’t have what it took to beat us,” 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.

“Going into the game we were really excited, confident and pumped up,” Maes said. “Because it was the Branding Iron, it is the most important game and we knew that we had to execute properly and play our game.”

Maes led the Mustangs’ 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.

“We 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 weren’t good as before. It just teaches us to be humble before games and not to underestimate our opponents,” Yen said.

However, the Brahmas tied the game up after a 30-second, 85-yard touchdown from the Brahmas’ running back senior Dimaggio Rico with eight minutes left in the first quarter.

On Walnut’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 Mustangs’ following drive, Maes fumbled the ball, resulting in another Brahma touchdown.

As the game continued, the Mustangs’ triple option offense failed to score against the Brahma’s defensive coverage, which caused an interception and two fumbles. The Brahmas’ run game resulted in six total touchdowns.

“Some of us were frustrated, knowing that we could’ve scored much more, but we made silly mistakes,” Maes said. “Some of the mistakes that we made were penalties that we could’ve avoided and our center switching throughout the game.”

Overall, the team hopes to use this loss as an opportunity to improve from its 0-2 start of the season.

“We can definitely build off of this; this is a giant learning experience,” fullback senior Joshua Henry said. “We 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

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