Breaking a two year streak

Unable to carry on the momentum from their four-game winning streak, the Brahmas lost their annual Branding Iron game against the Walnut High School Mustangs, 27-17.

Junior quarterback Ryan Lewis led the offensive charge for the Brahmas, throwing for 177 yards and two touchdowns—both of which connected to sophomore wide receiver Kai Jenkins.

On the defensive end, senior Victor Flores led the team with 13 tackles, followed closely by senior Cole Watson with 12. 

Lewis fired up the Brahma crowd early in the first quarter after completing a 33-yard touchdown pass to Jenkins. A successful one-point conversion followed, giving the Brahmas an early 7-0 lead. In quick response, the Mustangs scored their own touchdown but missed their one-point conversion attempt, setting up the Brahmas for a 7-6 lead at the end of the first quarter. 

The second quarter commenced in dismay for the Brahmas after a touchdown reception was negated by a phantom-holding penalty. Undeterred by this call, the Brahmas scored a successful field goal attempt, increasing their lead to 10-6. However, this lead did not last long, as the Mustangs scored their own touchdown and succeeded in their one-point conversion attempt, flipping the tables for a Walnut lead at halftime, 10-13.

The Mustangs continued their offensive drive into the second half with another touchdown and successful one-point conversion attempt. Trying to respond with a pass to set up a quick first-down, Lewis misthrew, resulting in an interception and an immediate turnover to the Mustangs. With no additional points from either team, the third quarter would end with a score of 20-10 with Walnut in the lead.

With the clock counting down in the final quarter, the Brahmas erased their 10-point deficit to three as Lewis completed a 36-yard touchdown pass to Jenkins. A field-goal behind with little time left on the clock, the Brahmas had to come up with a strategy to bring themselves into the lead, even a tie to force overtime. 

Diamond Bar made valiant efforts to score, but it was just not enough, as the Mustangs scored yet another touchdown late in the game to seal their victory, setting the final score at 27-17. 

Head Coach Jeff Reitz credited Walnut’s success to their sheer dominance in size and speed. Despite this heartbreaking loss, however, Reitz is optimistic for the team’s performance going into the CIF playoffs.

“It was just one of those games where one or two mistakes go here, one call goes there, and you lose it,” Reitz said. “But we won four games in a row [before Branding Iron] and now it’s time to get excited to win four games in a row [during the playoffs].”

Reitz also mentioned that if both Diamond Bar and Walnut win their first two playoff games, the two teams will face off against each other once more, something he is looking forward to seeing. 

With a 2-1 league record and a 5-5 overall record, the Brahmas will go into their first playoff game on Nov. 5 against Victor Valley High School.