Head coach debut spoiled by late game heroics

DB football team loses lead at end of game to Alta Loma, 29-22, after leading all of second half.

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Head coach debut spoiled by late game heroics

Junior Jeremiah Chukwudobe slips past a Braves defender.

Junior Jeremiah Chukwudobe slips past a Braves defender.

Hannah Lee

Junior Jeremiah Chukwudobe slips past a Braves defender.

Hannah Lee

Hannah Lee

Junior Jeremiah Chukwudobe slips past a Braves defender.

Ryan Chae, Sports Editor

Friday marked a new chapter in Diamond Bar High School football history with the debut of head coach Kevin Argumosa. But the Alta Loma Braves spoiled the Brahmas’ night, winning 29-22 on a touchdown in the final seconds.

While the Brahmas lost the match, Argumosa saw the progress the boys had made since he joined the team.

“The boys fought for four quarters, and that’s something we have been preaching since April. Not one kid gave up; not one kid decided not to do their job,” Argumosa said.

With less than two minutes left in the game, as Alta Loma pushed into the redzone, the game was stopped when DB junior Daryn Ongsing and an Alta Loma Brave had a head-to-head collision on the DB 21, resulting in the Braves receiver leaving in an ambulance.

When play resumed, Alta Loma scored the first and final points of the half with an 11-yard run by senior quarterback James Josiah Jr. The Braves furthered their lead with a successful two-point conversion. Down seven points with a minute left, DB made a last minute effort, but sophomore quarterback Dylan Karanickolas was intercepted to end the game.  

The Brahmas started the game with the ball, but senior returner Charles Miller fumbled the return, which was recovered by the Braves on DB’s 21. However, the Brahmas’ defense got the ball back with a fumble recovery by senior Matthew Rodriguez.

On their next drive, the Brahmas could not take advantage as the team botched a snap on fourth down, giving the Braves field advantage onto the DB’s 8. With the aid of an offsides penalty, Alta Loma scored the first touchdown of the game, putting them up 7-0.

The next kickoff  returned by Miller placed the Brahmas in good position, on their own 36. Karanickolas, then led a 54-yard drive downfield, capping capped it off with a 23-yard touchdown throw to  senior Devon Johnson. Rather than kick for the extra point, the Brahmas were successful on a two-point conversion, putting them up 8-7 with a little over five minutes in the quarter.

With the ball back, the Braves quickly scored again  with the assistance of a pass interference penalty. Down 14-8, the Brahmas’ next drive ended with a punt after having a touchdown called back due to a holding penalty.

Neither team scored until the middle of the second quarter when Josiah  ran for a touchdown and put the Braves up 21-8. Facing a two touchdown deficit, the Brahmas went on a 75-yard drive that was capped off by a touchdown catch by senior receiver Shane Wells. The team again went for a two-point conversion and succeeded, cutting the lead 21-16.

The Braves looked to have the final possession of the half, but a fumble at their 15 was recovered by DB. With less than 10 seconds in the second quarter, Johnson caught another touchdown, re-taking the lead. However, the two point conversion was broken up, which left the Brahmas with a 22-21 lead at the half.

While the first half was a battle of offense, the second half was the exact opposite, as no team would score until the last minute of the game.

On their first drive of the second half, Alta Loma wasted a chance to take the momentum and fumbled the ball,which the Brahmas recovered on the Braves’ 40. But in their first possession of the second half, DB was forced to punt due to a botched snap.

Both teams were unable to make any noise for the rest of the third as the Brahmas were forced to punt in all their drives while the Braves missed a field goal.

The fourth quarter, like the third quarter, was a hard fought duel between the defenses. With 4:47 left in the game, the Braves picked up momentum with an interception at their 45. Through multiple three-and-longs, the Braves were soon on DB’s 31. From there, Alta Loma pushed for the game winning touchdown and stole a win from the Brahmas.

Although he lost his debut, Argumosa was proud of their effort and is already focused on Friday’s annual Branding Iron match.

“They played their butts off and fought hard. [The] mindset for next week is to get healthy, fix the little mistakes and play four quarters of hard football, like [what] we tell the boys everyday.”