Brahmas keep Branding Iron for another year

Ryan Chae, Sports Editor

Down 6-0 in the second quarter with slew of penalty flags being thrown against them, the Diamond Bar High School football team looked to be challenged for the first time in six years in the heated Branding Iron match against rivals Walnut Mustangs. Then, a  2-yard touchdown by senior Davion Bluitt would shift the momentum of the entire game toward the Brahmas as they would dominate the rest of the game, winning 34-9 for the sixth straight year.

“Once we scored some points, we would score even more points. The kids just had to push through. We get a lot of penalties and played sloppy, but we kept fighting and fought through adversity, ” head coach Marcus Hughes said.

The most hyped game of the year for  both schools began loud and wild as the fans  yelled at one another and the teams seemed to lack control. Walnut, on its first possession,  were forced to punt, but DB fumbled the punt, giving it back  to the Mustangs. Walnut scored on this drive with a 29-yard run but missed the extra point, creating a 6-0 lead in the first quarter.

The rest of the quarter went back and forth as both teams were negatively impacted on their drives due to the many penalties. It would take an entire quarter before Bluitt ran for his first touchdown in the second. With a 7-6 lead, the Brahmas would dominate the rest of the game as they had  for the past six Branding Iron games.

The Brahmas recovered a fumble on their own 41 and  then drove to the Mustang’s 20. Yet, the Brahmas could not convert on this drive as senior quarterback Grant Mestas was intercepted in the end zone.

However, the Brahmas turned the tables on the Mustangs, forcing them to fumble the ball, recovering it on Walnut’s 22. That drive would end with another TD by Bluitt, but the team would miss the extra point, which gave the Brahmas a 13-6 lead.

In the kickoff return that followed, the Mustangs again fumbled the ball, and it was recovered by the Brahmas. On its drive, DB would score with a 1-yard run by junior Kyle Rojas and convert the extra point this time, extending its lead,  20-6. The Brahmas ended the quarter with more momentum as sophomore Malik Scurlock sacked Walnut’s quarterback on the last play of the half.

The Brahmas would continue their domination of the Mustangs as the team forced an interception in the third quarter, setting up a 47-yard catch-and-run TD by junior Shane Wells. For the second time, the Brahmas failed the extra point conversion. Even with a 26-6 lead, the Brahmas did not take their foot off the gas pedal. The team drove down the field  in the last minutes of the third quarter, ending  with another Brahma TD,  this time  from an 18-yard reception by junior Matthew Emanuele. The team successfully completed the 2-point conversion, giving them a controlling 34-6 lead.

In the fourth quarter, the Brahmas did not score but held the Mustangs to only a field goal in the quarter, making the  final score 34-9.

While it is Coach Hughes’ third consecutive Branding Iron win and first victory of the season, he is mainly focusing on getting the team ready for the next match.

“The biggest thing we need to improve is our practice habits and bring some more intensity to practice. We mainly need to clean up our mistakes.”

Next Thursday, the Brahmas will be going to Covina High School, looking to earn their second win of the season.