The Bull's Eye

Brahmas break their streak

With their first win in the books, the Brahmas lined up for their last game of the preseason Friday against Rowland High School. After scoring 47 and 43 points in their past two games, Diamond Bar looked poised  for another win.

However, multiple touchdowns in the fourth quarter for the Raiders followed by an interception near the end of the game allowed Rowland to take the lead, and ultimately, win 35-31.

Even though the team went 1-4 in their preseason, they feel confident going into league play.

“We can always get better and improve,  [but] I think we are going to go into league having the knowledge that we can come out victorious,” junior quarterback Dylan Karanickolas said after the game. “We are going to look at [the opponents’] tendencies and prepare for that.”

DB showcased their strong offense in the first possession of the game, with a six-play drive that ended with senior running back Jeremiah Chukwudobe scoring a touchdown in the first two minutes. They missed the extra point, but led the game 6-0.

The Raiders responded with their own running back, Tye Coleman, who ran for a 45-yard TD on the next possession. They completed the PAT, and Coleman would continue to give the Brahmas trouble for the remainder of the game.

Multiple sacks on quarterback Karanickolas forced DB into a fourth down late in the first. However, a pitch  from Karanickolas to sophomore Jacoah Chennault, who then passed to senior Kai Smith gave the Brahmas the first down they needed. A handoff to Chukwudobe finished DB’s drive and gave them the lead 12-7. A two-point conversion was attempted but ended by a Raider tackle.

The game calmed down for most of the second quarter until Coleman’s 20-yard run moved Rowland into the redzone. A TD pass and the extra point gave the Raiders the lead, 14-12.

The Brahmas countered on the next drive with multiple first downs, getting to the Raiders’ 15. Karanickolas completed a touchdown pass to senior Matthew Uballe, regaining the lead 19-14 in the back-and-forth game. The ejection of Brahma senior Brian Lee for unsportsmanlike conduct marked the end of the first half.

Despite this, the Brahmas came into the third quarter with intensity. Karanickolas completed a 25-yard pass to Chase Wells to advance to the Raiders’ 20. On the next play, the Diamond Bar QB pitched to sophomore Josiah Hunter for a rushing TD, extending DB’s lead 25-14. The Brahmas attempted a two-point conversion for the second time, but fell short.

This was forgotten when DB’s Smith ran for an 80-yard TD after the Brahmas’ defense stopped the Raiders at their seven yard line. The Brahmas ended the quarter with a 17-point lead.

Rowland didn’t give up though, scoring on a fourth down 38-yard touchdown pass. They then recovered a DB fumble on their 23-yard line, and converted on the drive with a 45-yard touchdown pass. The Brahmas’ lead was cut down to only 3 points with seven minutes left to go in the game.  

The Raiders blitzed Karanickolas in an attempt to regain the ball, and  DB  turned the ball over on downs. Rowland’s running back Coleman launched his final assault with a 20-yard run to get onto DB’s 23.  After another first down, Rowland completed their drive with a TD pass, putting DB down four points, 35-31 with three minutes left in the game.

 An interception by the Raiders sealed the loss for the Brahmas, with Rowland’s  quarterback kneeling to run out the clock.

The Brahmas have a bye week to get ready for their first league game on Sept. 28 against Chino High School.

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