Brahmas suffer first 50-point shutout in program history

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Brahmas suffer first 50-point shutout in program history

It seemed like deja vu from three years ago. Due to a lack of play variety on offense and an unstable defensive line, the Brahmas struggled to get on the scoreboard or to stop the Bonita Bearcats from scoring, losing 52-0 and recording the biggest shutout defeat in program history, according to Maxpreps.com.

Dylan Karanickolas, Diamond Bar High School’s star senior quarterback, had a disappointing outing with three interceptions and only a couple of completions. On the other hand, the sharp Bonita offense seemed to pick apart the Brahma secondary and instilled clever plays to leave the Diamond Bar defense out of sync. 

The first quarter essentially summed up the result of this game. Right out of the gates, the Brahmas ran four straight running and passing plays only to concede a four-down turnover to Bonita, which eventually cruised into Brahma territory for a field goal. 

On the next series, Karanickolas encountered pressure in the pocket, throwing an interception on the first pass play. Without much rest, the Brahma defense was forced to guard a combination of screen passes, completions in the flat and running plays to concede two touchdowns to Bonita, finding themselves trailing by 17-0 at the end of the first quarter.

The second quarter showcased the same football on the Brahmas’ side, as Karanickolas stacked up his incompletions while the Brahma’s run game was inefficient. This led to more scoring opportunities for the Bearcats, who added another touchdown early in the period through efficient run plays and a high lob pass toward the left corner of the endzone.  

After Bonita put another seven on the board, the Brahmas finally started to nickel and dime up the field as Karanickolas found multiple receivers on slants in the heart of the Bearcats’ defense. However, once Diamond Bar started to attack the secondary, Bonita’s defense yet again rose to the occasion and recovered a fumble in their own territory.

Toward the end of the second quarter, Karanickolas faced additional problems through sacks in the pocket, leaving the team facing long third-down conversions. With thirty seconds left in the half, the Bearcats’ offense executed two 20-yard completions in the middle of the field to score another touchdown, ending the first half, 31-0. 

Bonita issued the knockout punch that effectively ended the game on the first play of the second half. Diamond Bar’s special team missed numerous attempts at tackling the Bearcats’ kick returner, who impressively returned the kickoff 80 yards through many purple jerseys, increasing Bonita’s lead to 38 points.

Just as the aura of the kick return touchdown had faded, a pass Karanickolas threw away  to evade a sack was picked off by a Bonita defensive back, tightroping the sidelines. It was the Brahma quarterback’s final play of the night. 

The remainder of the match was essentially playing out the clock, with the backup quarterback for each high school finishing the game. Yet the Bearcats continued the scoring onslaught, piling on two additional touchdowns while the Brahmas never were able to reach the redzone. 

The Brahmas will face the Claremont Wolfpack at a home game Friday.