Brahmas branded winners for fifth straight year

Diamond Bar wins this year’s Branding Iron 57-7 against Walnut.

As crowds of purple and gold roared a deafening cheer, their emotions running high, the Branding Iron was awarded to the victors of Friday’s blowout game. The Diamond Bar High School Brahmas scored a dominating 57-7 win against school rival, the Mustangs, at Walnut High School’s Ken Gunn’s stadium, bringing home the coveted prize for the fifth year in a row.

In 2014, the Brahmas ended the game with a 44-7 lead, and in the following year, they scored a record 60 points while the Mustangs scored 28. After the seven-year hiatus in the Branding Iron games due to the teams playing in different divisions, the Diamond Bar-Walnut rivalry was made official in 2004 and has continued for 12 years, with a record of 9-3 for the Brahmas.

The game started with the Mustangs grabbing the early lead. Soon after Walnut slipped through the Brahmas’ defense and took a 7 point lead with a rushing touchdown early in the quarter, Diamond Bar stepped up its own game and responded with an 82-yard throw-and-run by junior quarterback Grant Mestas to senior wide receiver Kyle Yada.

By the end of the first quarter, the Brahmas’ senior running back Dimaggio Rico had scored two rushing touchdowns, leaving Diamond Bar with a 21-7 lead.

It was clear that the Mustangs were struggling to get past Diamond Bar’s defensive line early on, and the second quarter was no different. The Mustangs’ attempt to switch up their offense was thwarted by junior defensive back Jaime House, who intercepted and took it back 42 yards. Then, Rico ran for a 4-yard touchdown, bringing the score to 27-7.  When attempting the extra point, the Brahmas fumbled the snap but recovered the ball and scored for a two-point conversion.

Rico scored once again with a 19-yard rushing touchdown, which was soon followed by a fumble recovery that senior defensive lineman David Omana ran in for a touchdown.

As the Mustangs continued to struggle to advance the ball, Rico scored another pair of rushing touchdowns in the second quarter. By halftime, Diamond Bar was up 50-7, and by the end of the third quarter, the Brahmas had stretched their lead to 57-7 as a result of a rushing touchdown by senior running back Marcus Hunt, who scored the final points of the game. The Brahmas just ran out the clock in the fourth quarter.

“We started out slow, but once we figured out what we were doing, we started to execute and that was the key,” head coach Marcus Hughes said. “I expect us to keep getting better. We’ve got to keep building on this.”