Above: Diamond Bar sophomore QB Tyler Peterson already has thrown for 1,083 yards and 14 TDs
By Fred J. Robledo, SGVN
Nothing can unravel a season like the loss of a quarterback, especially one as valuable as Los Altos’ Cristian Hacegaba, who was playing well in leading the Conquerors to a 3-0 start while averaging 43 points a game.
But Hacegaba injured his shoulder in the first quarter of a 16-0 loss to Chino on Sept. 14 and never returned, and in Friday’s Hacienda League opener against Diamond Bar, Hacegaba was a no-show again in a 40-3 loss to the Brahmas.
Los Altos committed seven turnovers in the loss to the Brahmas, and now has to travel to back-to-back CIF-Southeast Division champion West Covina on Friday. The Bulldogs have never lost a league game since the Hacienda was created in 2010.
Hacegaba isn’t expected to play this week and there is no timetable for his return.
“Here comes the buzzsaw,” Los Altos coach Dale Ziola said of West Covina. “Injuries hit everyone, they hit West Covina so that’s not an excuse we can use.
“West Covina is sort of like the (Concord) De La Salle of the Hacienda League. They’re the team everyone is striving to be. You just have to accept the challenge and give it your best shot and hopefully we’ll be better this week.”
They couldn’t be much worse.
It’s hard to blame sophomore quarterback Lorenzo Silva, who made his first start against Diamond Bar a few weeks after suffering a concussion in a junior varsity game.
Of the seven turnovers, five were directly related to bad snaps and mishandling of the ball and two were interceptions, areas that Ziola said will improve with practice and reps.
“Lorenzo’s going to be fine, he was just in a tough spot without any Friday night experience,” Ziola said. “If we stay the course good things are going to happen. But the last thing you want to do is throw up your hands and feel sorry for yourself. Everyone goes through this.”
On the flip side, Diamond Bar (2-3, 1-0) is climbing its way back after an 0-2 start that included back-to-back blowout losses to Ayala (46-17) and Norwalk (52-38).
The Brahmas might be a year away from making serious noise because they start sophomore quarterback Tyler Peterson, who already has thrown 1,083 yards and 14 touchdowns, and have three dynamic sophomore receivers that all make big contributions.
Kanya Bell already has 22 receptions for 401 yards and six touchdowns, and Cordell Broadus has 15 receptions for 156 yards and three TDs.
Austin Cox, another sophomore, is coming into his own with nine receptions for two touchdowns.
While the future is bright, coach Ryan Maine isn’t ready to give up on the present.
Diamond Bar has a favorable schedule for a young team gaining experience each week. The Brahmas visit Rowland (3-2, 0-1) on Friday but don’t have to face West Covina or Bonita until the final two weeks of the season.
“How we do in this league is the million-dollar question,” Maine said. “No game is guaranteed. We’re not good enough to think past this week so we’ll continue to improve and get better and hopefully that will result in another win on Friday.”