Diamond Bar secures their third win of the season

Friday night’s football game against Ontario had the fans sitting on the edge of their seats for all four quarters.

With the game tied 14-14 with one minute left to play, Diamond Bar High School junior Dylan Karanickolas threw his third  touchdown pass of the contest to secure the win, 21-14.

The football was exchanged quickly during the first two drives of the game, with both teams forced into a three and out. However, DB adapted, finding its offensive groove with runs by senior Jeremiah Chukwudobe and catches by senior Kai Smith and sophomore Chase Wells to get onto Ontario’s 24.

 Quarterback Karanickolas then found junior Brian Nithalangsy for a pass in the Jaguar’s red zone. The seven-play drive ended with a five-yard receiving touchdown by Smith and the extra point, giving the Brahmas a 7-0 lead.

On the next drive, Ontario’s run offense responded by moving the ball to DB’s 25. Senior JJ Godwin prevented a potential Jaguar TD with an interception, returning the ball into Ontario territory. Despite the turnover, Ontario answered with their own interception, and returned the ball back into DB territory to end the first quarter.

The Jaguars continued their momentum with a 45-yard run for a first and goal after switching sides. Another run play finished the drive for Ontario, and the completed PAT tied the game 7-7. Ontario maintained its intensity on the next drive by forcing the Brahmas to another three and out.

Ontario then began its offensive assault on DB, with a six-play drive that consisted of four runs to get into DB’s red zone. However, the Brahmas’ defense managed to hold them at their 14-yard line, forcing Ontario to kick a field goal. The kick went wide for the Jaguars, and the game remained tied 7-7 with four minutes left in the half.

Karnickolas made quick work of Ontario’s defense, with passes to Smith, Wells and senior Matthew Uballe to get into Jaguar territory. A pass interference and roughing the passer penalty called on Ontario awarded the Brahmas 30 yards and an opportunity to score. Despite the two calls, DB was unable to convert on downs and the first half ended 7-7.

The second half started much like the first, with both teams turning over on downs. Ontario was the first to answer with two QB keepers that brought the team onto DB’s 20. With seven minutes left in the third quarter, DB was able to stop yet another potential TD with a fumble recovery.

The DB quarterback continued the systematic offense with passes to Smith and Uballe, getting the Brahmas onto Ontario’s 30. An illegal procedure call on DB during the next play made it difficult for them to convert on their next downs, forcing them to punt.

The Brahmas’ defense returned the intensity, and also forced Ontario to punt. Two first downs by Chukwudobe and a push through defenders by senior Moises Gamez brought the Brahmas to Ontario’s 23 to end the scoreless quarter.

Karanickolas started the thrilling fourth quarter with a pass to Smith to move the Brahmas into Ontario’s red zone. A 9-yard pass by Karanickolas to Uballe and the extra point doubled DB’s score to give them their second lead of the night, 14-7.

With ten minutes left in the game, Ontario’s run offense was showcased again, converting on a fourth down in Brahma territory. The drive was completed with a 14-yard TD run to tie the game 14-14.

Though there was only 5:40 left to play, the Brahmas didn’t panic and continued their time-tested offense. Handoffs to Chukwudobe and passes to Wells and Smith brought DB onto the Jaguar’s 40. Despite short yardage gains by DB, a fourth down conversion by Karanickolas kept the Brahmas’ hopes alive.

A pitch to Gamez brought the Brahmas into the red zone, and then Karanickolas hit  Wells,giving the Brahmas a seven-point lead with 45 seconds left to play.

Ontario desperately fought to tie the game, but DB intercepted a long pass to end it, and clinch the 21-14 win.

The Brahmas play an important game next Friday against undefeated Chaffey High School for a first seed spot in the Mt. Baldy League.