West Covina High’s football team started just the way it wanted in Friday night’s Hacienda League game at Diamond Bar.
The same can’t be said for the remaining three quarters.
The Bulldogs scored on the game’s first possession but five turnovers later, they found themselves on the losing end of a 34-13 score.
Diamond Bar overcame a four-interception night by quarterback Tyler Peterson to win its fourth game in a row and set up next week’s league showdown with Los Altos.
“Our defense stepped it up while our offense struggled a little bit,” Diamond Bar coach Ryan Maine said after his team improved to 2-0 in league and 5-1 overall. “They had that long first drive of the game and it put our offense to sleep a little bit.”
West Covina’s opening drive of 80 yards was capped off by a 5-yard touchdown run by Steven Garcia.
The Brahmas answered with a scoring drive of their own. Tyler Brown tied the score with an 11-yard touchdown run. Nolan Luzzi added the extra point to put the Brahmas in front.
Diamond Bar had ample opportunities to extend its lead in the second quarter but had minimal success. Luzzi, for example, hit the goal post on a 25-yard field goal try.
Jason Kim gave the Brahmas the ball back by recovering a fumble at the West Covina 41, but that drive ended when Isaiah Love intercepted one of Peterson’s passes.
Diamond Bar finally added to its lead when Tyron Kelley scored on a 26-yard run.
The 36-yard drive was set up by a fumbled snap by West Covina at its own 36.
“We couldn’t take care of the ball,” West Covina coach Mike Maggiore said. “We fumbled on snaps. We fumbled on handoffs. The one thing that bothered me was that that they weren’t forced.
“If someone puts their helmet on the ball and knocks it loose, you can understand that. We just kind of gave them the ball.”
Diamond Bar’s offense finally started to show signs of life after taking a 14-6 lead into halftime.
Antonio Hull caught a 16-yard touchdown pass to give the Brahmas a 21-6 lead with 9:07 left in the third quarter, and Brown added a 16-yard touchdown run before the quarter ended.
Diamond Bar built a 34-6 lead in the fourth quarter before West Covina finally put together another scoring drive.
“If we run eight to 10 plays per possession, we’re going to score,” Maggiore said. “But you can’t do that if you keep making mistakes.”
The loss was the fourth in a row for the Bulldogs, who are 0-2 in league play, and 2-4 overall.