Brahmas lose league opener in fourth quarter thriller

Ryan Chae, Sports Editor

On the night of the homecoming game, the Diamond Bar football team didn’t get their fairy tale ending, losing the league opener, 42-39 against Bonita.

Though sophomore quarterback Dylan Karanickolas made his return by producing  three  touchdowns, the Bearcats took the game after scoring a touchdown in the final minute.

Bonita started the ball and got to work quickly, scoring a TD on their first drive, but the Bearcats missed the extra point.

Down 6-0, DB responded on the next drive with a 64-yard TD run by junior Jeremiah Chukwadobe. The Brahmas failed to convert the two-point conversion, tying up the game, 6-6, with a little over eight minutes in the first quarter.

After trading drives, Bonita scored again on a pass and converted the two-point conversion, putting them up 14-6. DB would punt their next drive, but a fumble by Bonita with a little less than nine minutes in the second quarter gave the ball back to the Brahmas. DB couldn’t take advantage as they failed to convert a 4th and 1.

Though Bonita got the ball back, they lost it right away after senior Shane Wells intercepted a pass.  Karanickolas then threw for a TD to junior Kai Smith, and with a two-point conversion, DB tied the game, 14-14.

The Bearcats’ next drive ended early when senior Devon Johnson intercepted the ball  on the 50. However, Johnson wasn’t done yet, as he caught the ball and ran for a 50-yard touchdown. DB couldn’t convert the two-point conversion, but they had their first lead of the game, 20-14.

Down for the first time in the game, the Bearcats answered with a touchdown and retook the lead after converting the two-point conversion.

With less than two minutes in the half, DB pushed the ball down field with the help of both a personal foul penalty and a roughing the passer penalty. The Brahmas completed the drive with a 3-yard run by Chukwadobe, but failed to convert the two-point conversion. DB was up 26-22 as the game went to halftime.

After a Bonita missed field goal attempt, DB, in its first possession of the second half, took the ball , just inches away from the endzone. Going for it on 4th and inches, the Brahmas couldn’t convert, giving the Bearcat possession with a little less than six minutes in the third quarter.

The ensuing Bearcats’ drive ended the quarter with a rushing touchdown, putting them up 29-26 after making the PAT.

In their next possession, DB made quick work of Bonita’s defense after a deep catch by Wells and roughing the passer call pushed the ball to the Bearcats’ redzone. Karanickolas took the ball into the endzone himself with a 5-yard run, putting the Brahmas’ up 32-29.

Bonita’s next drive ended in a turnover on downs, but a DB fumble gave the Bearcats the ball  on DB’s 15. Taking advantage, Bonita scored and took the lead, 35-32 after missing the PAT.

With less than six minutes in the game, DB took possession. Chukwadobe put the team on his back with a 46-yard run that pushed the ball to Bonita’s 19. Play was stopped with 4:40 left when a Bonita player went down and had to be carried off the field and transported by ambulances.

Chukwadobe scored the last touchdown for DB, and the Brahmas kicked the extra point, putting them up 39-35.

With less than four minutes in the game, the Bearcats had to push for a touchdown. Marching downfield, Bonita scored the final touchdown of the game and then added the PAT, setting  the final score at  42-39.

Just a minute left in the game, the Brahmas pushed the ball to midfield and tried to score on a Hail Mary pass as time ran out, but failed. The loss leaves Diamond Bar winless.

On Thursday, the Brahmas will have another chance when they take on the Glendora Tartans.