Nobody can flip the switch like Diamond Ranch

By Steve Ramirez
If it’s October, then it’s time for Diamond Ranch High School’s usual winning streak. The Panthers are living up to the tradition. Diamond Ranch, which struggled in nonleague only to catch fire and advance to the CIF-Southern Section Division finals each of the previous two seasons, again is matching the trend. The Panthers, who went 1-3 in nonleague this season, including a 56-0 loss at Santa Margarita in the season opener, have opened Hacienda League play with victories over region rivals Diamond Bar (41-0) and Walnut (35-28), a game in which they trailed 21-0 at one point.

Their next challenge comes Saturday when they host Rowland in a league game at 7 p.m. at Ganesha High.

“It can be a Catch-22,” Diamond Ranch coach Roddy Layton said of his team’s ability to turn it on and off like a light switch. “I don’t want the players to be content and think we can just turn it on during the final weeks of the season.

“We use the preseason to figure things out. We don’t want to lose games, but we want to see what will work and what doesn’t. Knowing we have done it in the past won’t help us string together victories in October and November and get us to December (and the playoffs). We just have to look at this week and try to improve.”

The Panthers’ biggest challenge might be this week when they host Rowland (4-2, 1-1), which is ranked No. 8 in the Southeast Division. Diamond Ranch (3-3, 2-0) is No. 5.

The big concern is trying to limit Raiders quarterback Michael Ball, who might be the best dual threat in the area. The senior has accounted for 988 yards and 12 touchdowns.

“He’s a great football player,” Layton said of Ball. “He’s a threat to beat you with his legs as well as with his arm. Anyone who plays that team, you have to try to contain him because you can’t really stop him.

“They have other players too, so they have good team speed. We have a good challenge in front of us. It should be a good game.”

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  • ho hum

    Not one comment, because everybody knows how quickly they get those same lights PUNCHED OUT in week 14. Like it was all a dream. That ended in tears. Again.

  • the gift

    It always crackes me up, every year the press only looks at games through a very small window especially with Diamond Ranch. Lets look at the teams they played in pre season? Much more of a competative schedule then any other team out there. Also in your news cast you only noticed two weapons on Diamond ranches squad? Lets get real! what about Andrew Fischer, Jacoby Carter who had over a 150 yards agains Walnut not to mention the offensive line who allowed no sacks, the defense who shut down Walnut in the second half and shut out Diamond Bar all together Lets get the whole and real picture in your pradictions guys. Diamond Bar by 14 against Rowland!!!

  • @the gift

    You probably made a typo there “diamond bar by 14 against rowland”

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