The Branding Iron is safe at home

CLUTCH+PLAY-++Junior+running+back+Tyler+Brown%2C+who+led+the+team+with+four+touchdowns%2C+rushes+past+the+Mustangs+in+the+final+minutes+of+fourth+quarter.+Brown+led+the+team+with+four+touchdowns.%0D%0A

Xing Yen Quek

CLUTCH PLAY– Junior running back Tyler Brown, who led the team with four touchdowns, rushes past the Mustangs in the final minutes of fourth quarter. Brown led the team with four touchdowns.

Welcomed by a sea of purple and gold, the Diamond Bar High School football team marched onto the field anticipating a hard-fought game against rival Walnut High School. After beating the Mustangs last year 26-22 on a dropped pass, the Brahmas did not want to surrender the Branding Iron to WHS. Once again, the game would come down to the last seconds and be won by a rushing touchdown by junior Tyler Brown.

The Diamond Bar student body rallied in support of the team to win the symbolic Branding Iron. Ranging from a car-smashing lunchtime activity to assembling the “Brahma Pit” on the bleachers, various activities were put together to prepare for this event.

“I think this is a great sign of a team growing up, especially [for] a young team like ours,” head coach Ryan Maine said.

The Brahmas started the game with an onside kick to surprise Walnut. However, it backfired as Walnut recovered the ball with great field possession leading to a 32-yard touchdown run by the Mustangs.

When the Brahmas’ offense went on the field, sophomore quarterback Tyler Peterson threw an interception ending the DBHS possession. The Mustangs then converted the turnover with another touchdown. At the end of the first quarter, the Brahmas were down 0-14.

In the second quarter, the Brahmas’ offense took control as they marched down the field. After a pass interference penalty on the Mustangs, Brown scored the first points for DBHS with a 1-yard touchdown run. However, the Brahma defense could not stop the WHS rushing offense, which led to another touchdown for the Mustangs.

With 55 seconds left in the half, DBHS went on the field determined to cut the lead before heading to the locker room. Peterson and Brown led the offense into the red zone with ten seconds left. To take avantage of sophomore wide receiver Cordell Broadus’ height, Peterson threw a fade pass toward the back of the end zone. As Broadus was about to catch the ball, a Mustangs cornerback held onto Broadus. This led to another pass interference penalty called on Walnut. The Brahmas were now on the one-yard line. This led to Brown’s second touchdown run.  At the end of the first half the score was 21-14.

In the beginning of the second half, the Brahmas fumbled the ball over to the Mustangs. WHS then converted it into another touchdown. On the next offensive possession, Brown scored a 45-yard touchdown and cut the lead by seven heading into the fourth quarter. Brown rushed for 234 yards on 25 carries with four touchdowns.

In the fourth quarter, the Mustangs had a great chance to score a field goal but instead chose to fake the field goal with a pass. However, the Brahmas’ defense predicted this and stopped the Mustangs. The momentum of the game shifted to DBHS as they stormed down the field. It would soon lead to a one-yard touchdown run by Peterson on a quarterback sneak play. The score was tied 28-28 with five minutes left.

On the next possession, DBHS played exceptional defense making the Mustangs punt. With great field possession, the Brahmas slowly moved down the field. With 1:10 on the clock, Peterson threw an interception, his second of the game. “I felt pretty bad, but I kept my head up,” Peterson commented.

DBHS then forced Walnut to punt after a three and out, but it was too late to score as there was only a couple of seconds left. The score was tied 28-28 at the end of regulation.

In overtime, both teams are given one possession to score on the 25-yard line. The Brahmas’ offense went first and scored on a 10-yard run by Peterson. When it was Walnut’s turn, the offense had a tough time due to two penalties. Then, senior defensive end Matt Carrillo sacked the Mustangs’ quarterback.However, DBHS could not stop the Mustangs as they scored a touchdown on fourth down. At the end of the first overtime, the score was 35-35.

Walnut started the second overtime with the ball first. On fourth down, the Mustangs fumbled the ball, and senior linebacker Josh Peyton recovered it allowing the Brahmas to have a chance to win.

When the Brahmas took the field, all they had to do was score a point to keep the Branding Iron for another year. When the offense was on the 21-yard line, Brown scored another touchdown winning the game for DBHS, 41-35.  “It feels great to beat Walnut,” Brown said.

As a result of this year’s victory, the coveted Branding Iron will stay hung on the wall of DBHS administration office. “We knew we had them, but it is all about what our mindset is. It’s fun getting the win,” Peterson said. The game consisted of many penalties and many missed chances. “That was a rough one but I am proud of the kids for not giving up,” Maine said. “I wanted to see if we could dig deep and show some character.”