After a wild season in the Hacienda League, it ended the way it should have, a four-way tie for first

Thursday’s Hacienda League results and game stories
West Covina 28, Rowland 7
Diamond Bar 25, Bonita 24
Diamond Ranch 35, Walnut 0

By Fred J. Robledo, SGVN

ROWLAND HEIGHTS — When push came to shove, West Covina bullied its way to the playoffs in the same fashion that earned the Bulldogs back-to-back CIF-Southern Section Southeast Division titles.

Facing a do-or-die scenario to make the playoffs, West Covina defeated Rowland 28-7 on a wild night in the Hacienda League that ended in a four-way tie for first with Diamond Bar upsetting Bonita in a shocker, 25-24, while Diamond Ranch took care of Walnut 35-0.

Bonita (5-5, 4-2), West Covina (5-5, 4-2), Rowland (7-3, 4-2) and Diamond Ranch (7-3, 4-2) all claimed a piece of the league title, but the big winner appears to be West Covina, who based on a point system, will likely enter the playoffs as the league’s No. 1 entry with Bonita second and Rowland third. Diamond Ranch finishes fourth and will have to hope for an at-large berth when the playoff pairings are announced Sunday.

Walnut athletic director and league coordinator Jerry Person figured out the scenario’s following the games Thursday, but he won’t make it official until an athletic directors meeting this morning.

For a team that felt like it had bad luck all season, West Covina finally has a reason to smile.

“I just wanted to win and get in the playoffs, but with our league this year anything was possible and that proved true tonight,” West Covina coach Mike Maggiore said. “It’s crazy to think it ended in a four-way tie, but I’m not surprised. This is how it’s been all season. But truthfully, I’m just glad we’re still playing.”

West Covina quarterback Jon Najera threw two touchdown passes and ran for another. Najera completed only four of six passes but he finished with 85 yards. Aaron Salgado led the Bulldogs in rushing with 85 yards and a TD.

“I liked the way we played the second half, we were physical,” Maggiore said. “We did some things we haven’t been doing all year and our defense played tremendous in the second half.”

Rowland’s Avery Duffus finished with 91 yards, but all in all, it was a great season for a Raiders team few expected anything from. Even with the loss, they get to enjoy a title too.

“I’m proud of my kids we came out and went toe-to-toe with them in the first half,” Rowland coach Craig Snyder said. “The wheels kind of fell off the cart (in the second half) and you can’t do that against a good football team.

“But I’m proud of my kids, they battled through a lot of adversity and made the playoffs. It’s a tough league.”

West Covina used a steady dose of backs Antonio Hull and Aaron Salgado to march down down the field, but facing a fourth-and-13 after the drive stalled, the Bulldogs turned to quarterback Najera. The senior delivered a 26-yard touchdown pass to Aaron Franklin for a 7-0 lead with 4:24 left in the opening quarter.

Rowland used a 15-play drive to go 77 yards to tie the score.

Duffus did most of the heavy lifting, rushing eight times for 33 yards on the drive. But when it was time to strike, quarterback George Campos looked over the middle and found Joel Delgado all alone for a 22-yard touchdown pass to make it 7-7 early in the second quarter.

Rowland blew a chance to go ahead at half. After Campos threw a 26-yard pass to Miguel Romero to the 7, Campos fumbled and recovered for a 15-yard loss on the next play. Campos came back with a 21-yard pass to Alec Winters on fourth-and-goal, but that left the Raiders five yards short as time expired.

The Bulldogs took advantage on the opening drive of the second half. After nine straight runs, Najera found Sidney Jones running across the middle for an 18-yard TD pass to go back in front, 14-7 with 6:42 left in the third quarter.

After the Raiders and Bulldogs traded turnovers, Najera delivered a 31-yard pas to Jones at the 2-yard line. After three straight Najera runs produced nothing, Najera scored on the fourth try from a yard out to push the Bulldogs’ lead to 21-7 to start the fourth.

Salgado put the game out of reach, scoring on a 32-yard run with 9:25 left in the fourth to stretch the Bulldogs’ lead to 21 points.

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  • Colt74

    Congrats to the Bulldogs and their followers!

  • Just Saying

    It ended as usual with Bonita not capable of wining a big game.

  • FredJ

    Unbelievable that West Covina will enter as the league’s champion with the No. 1 entry and guaranteed first-round home game. My guess is Diamond Ranch is almost a lock to get an at-large, but that might get them La Serna or La Mirada

  • FredJ

    If you’re being honest, at the end of it all, West Covina deserves to be Hacienda’s No. 1. They’re playing the league’s best football at the moment. Don’t

    • greenie

      I absolutely agree, Bonita’s defense is not very good. Their play calling is questionable they were pounding the rock up 24-7 and all was well, then they decide to go to single back shot gun, got a safety, choked it got shut out in the 2nd half. Reggie also, looked mighty timid down the stretch. Diebold looked sharp but his WR were shaky all night. I honestly believe Bonita will Lose in the first round. West Co could be back in the Semis. I think they were feeling themselves after winning a passing league tourney, now they are back in there offense, they could make a run.

      • Tom Cobham

        I dont know what game you were watching. My girls graduated several years ago from Bonita and I still enjoy watching them play. The only good player in the secondary is #13 , #12 is terrible, he is straight out afraid to make contact with anyone! They also use him on punts and he is the king of the “fair catch” but most times it bounces 10-15 yards in front of him and then he lets it roll by him for even a bigger loss. The punt team would be better off and use another body on the line and go for the block. Reggie was injured in the first quarter and was out the rest for the rest of the game. Diebold has no business playing QB. He is also afraid of contact and locks on to one receiver # 27 all the time. Look at the amount of receptions he has compared to all the other receivers. Diebold also has 9 ints compared to 10 TD’s, terrible ratio especially for a 2 year starter. If you look into those 10 tds most are thrown to the backs in the back filed, so I would not really call them quality passing TDs more like long pitches. Last year he averaged negative 7-8 yards per run, and this year he is at .42 yards per carry. Also terrible for a spread QB, he holds the ball way to long, keeps dropping back and back and only looks at one receiver and then throws a pick or takes a 15-20 yard sack. Diebold only plays well wen Bonita is playing with a lead. Again last night when Reggie was out he was unable to find receivers, who were open, and move the ball. This years offense is Reggie the TD king, and last night proved it. I hope for the schools sake they have some quality JV players who can step up next year and bring the team back. I do agree with you, in they will loose in the first round just like last year. Look at those stats and you will see the coaches had no faith in Diebold to throw the ball when they were trailing, by 30 points they continued to hand it off to Griffith and would go 3 and out and punt. So I would expect the same this year.

        • SKP123

          @Basic, I think you mean Verdugo #23 (He’s did not play due to concussion at DRanch game). @Tom, yeah, that #12 should be in JV or doing something else, poor kid is in a position he can’t handle. There are so many players that would do much better than him. DRanch and DBar figured it out beforehand.

      • intelligent

        reggie scored 2 touchdowns in the first quarter before his ankle was INTENTIONALLY twisted. why would he choose the last game of his senior year to be “Timid”.

  • Chris Walker

    The Hacienda league is weak, and none of these teams are going to compete for a championship. The talent level of all four of these teams wouldn’t have even made the playoffs in the Hacienda league last year.

    • What a jerk Chris Walker is. Dont understand why he feels the need to put down other programs. Are you that unhappy about yours? I know Baldwin Park had a rough year but it’s OK Chris, they’ll be back just like Rowland Heights did this year. You are clearly not an expert on teams outside your little world and I doubt you have been to any games in the Hacienda because if you had, you would have been entertained. This season has been one of the most exciting that I’ve seen in the past four years. The league is not weak, the league finally has parity. Regardless of what happens in the next few weeks, it has been a great ride for the fans in 2012 for the Hacienda.

      • Chris Walker

        DRanch Man, actually I have seen every team in the Hacienda league except Walnut, some multi times. The talent level in this league is a joke. Yes, that includes Diamond Ranch whom I watched last week against Bonita. I do agree that the word exciting is correct, every team in the Hacienda could beat the other with the exception of Walnut.
        I have watched this league for over thirty years and clearly this is the weakest it has ever been.

        • So you have watched a 3 year old league for 30 years?

          • Chris Walker

            Goes to show your lack of knowledge of local sports, most of these teams have been in the same league off and on all 30 of those years. Except for Diamond Ranch whom has only had a Varsity football program for about 12 years.
            Diamond Bar – Lacks coaching all hype no results. All those Snoop Dog transfers.
            Diamond Ranch – Lacks talent
            West Covina – Big time down talent, qb (Najeria, weak) is a joke.
            Bonita – Talent and Coaching, major qb issues and those corners are going to kill them in the playoffs.
            Los Altos – Talent still way down, coaching is an improvement.
            Walnut – Same

          • My question to YOU! is why in the hell are you wasting your precious time smearing and worrying about other teams instead of your own??? and if you arent or havent played college ball, your opinion is VOID!

          • SKP123

            Good basic rundown.

  • Basic

    Are you kidding me??? That’s TWO
    games and League Title that play calling has cost the Bearcats…

    Last week against DR, Bonita had
    the lead and in the last drive decides to throw the ball 3x in a row incomplete
    and stops the clock and leaves plenty of time for DR to score and win. Last
    night, just before half and with the lead you do the same damn thing and give
    the ball back with just over a minute…then again in the fourth quarter inside
    the 10, you again go for 3 straight incomplete passes (WHY???) and then leave
    your kicker a huge bad angle and of course he misses…WOW

    Yes TD Reggie got hurt but come
    on, where’s that other kid (Vargas?) or just play time management football run
    the ball and get the W.

  • Zman

    Rowland has been playing the best ball all season! No one gave us a chance and look what we did. We are not done and these players know it….

    • Quite proud of you guys and what you have accomplished this year. Good luck in the playoffs.

    • SKP123

      I agree, after that whooping from Bonita, Rowland played great.

  • RRfootball

    All the teams that r going to the playoffs obviously deserve it. I really wouldnt say that west co. Deserves to be first though. They are pretty damn good football team, but bonita is better. They just get too cocky expecting to just show up to games and win when it isnt like that. They got the talent but they dont have to will to go hard. West co deserved the win last night against rowland. They played really hard to be able to go to the playoffs and they did. Now lets just see what goes on in the playoffs now. Good luck to those four teams that made it!

  • sintowng54

    & What point system are they using?

    1 West Covina
    2 Diamond Ranch
    3 Bonita
    4 Rowland

    that’s how it should be..

  • Spartan 03

    Is there any online version for the Hacienda League Bylaws? I don’t quite understand the point system. If it’s true that it’s a point system of how the top 4 teams that tied did against the bottom 3 teams, then neither Rowland nor Diamond Ranch lost to any of the bottom 3 and they got the last two spots. I am sure it is a little more complex of a system as this and that’s why there are so many questions of the outside crowd.

    It would be interesting to hear people’s opinion on the “point system” vs. “coin flip.” To answer this, one would have to know exactly how the point system works.

    I think it would be a shame if Diamond Ranch doesn’t make the playoffs. How could you walk around saying you’re league champions but didn’t make the playoffs?

  • tommy gun

    As I see it, the point system works like this:

    Walnut (0-6) = 1 pts
    Los Altos (1-5) = 2 pts
    DBar (3-3) = 3 pts
    DRanch (4-2) = 4 pts
    Rowland (4-2) = 4 pts
    Bonita (4-2) = 4 pts
    Westco (4-2) = 4 pts

    Westco defeated – Rowland, Dranch, Dbar, Walnut = 12 pts
    Bonita defeated – Westco, Rowland, Los Altos, Walnut = 11 pts
    Rowland defeated – Dranch, DBar, Los Altos, Walnut = 10 pts
    Dranch defeated – Bonita, DBar, Los Altos, Walnut = 10 pts

    Because Rowland and Dranch tied for 3rd with 10 pts head to head breaks the tie.

    In my opinion this is by far a better solution to breaking the “multiple team” tie situation than that of “coin flips” because it gives teams credit for quality wins.

    • Spartan 03

      This makes more sense than what I had previously understood. In this scenario the point system worked out nice. If there were to be a 3 way tie where each teams went rounds on each other, the point system would still consider it a tie. Then you go to coin flip?

  • brad mill

    What a crazy year for DBar! Knowing that starting the season with a soph qb, two soph wr, two junior rbs in your offensive skill positions meant it would be interesting. Playing a non-league schedule where the teams are at 21-16 with only Don Lugo having a losing record was a tough way to build confidence (DBar was 1-3). Going 3-3 in league was a nice accomplishment, though for the first time I think it warrants us being excited for next season. We do lose 3 starting offensive linemen, but this time the cupboard isn’t bare. If we develope the offense, run more sophisticated routes, have some audibles at the line of scrimmage for Peterson…we could be prolific on offense. Defense its where I’m worried. Get a new def coordinator. Someone with experience, someone with a real game plane who can dissect film and have a stategy going into a game. Too many games we were down by 2-3 touchdowns before our seats could get warm. The low point was fumbling the game away to dranch (giving up 21 points in less than two minutes, all from turnovers) almost losing to Walnut (give up a touchdown in OT when they had a fourth and 26! (press coverage defense with one satety in the middle! are you kidding me!) to the highlight of beating Bonita after trailing 24-7 at the half. Coach Maine needs to mix up his staff and bring in some vets…If he does this I really feal that DBar will make the playoffs next year!

    • Guest

      I MUST say i agree on the defensive cord! That is a MUST! Why that hasnt changed yet ..i dunno!

    • SKP123

      Bonita had way too many injuries before and during the game. 2 major defensive backs were out for the 2nd half of the game. I give DBar credit for capitalizing on this. But also realize Bonita’s QB took them back a bit too.

    • haciendafan

      Everyone has a problem with Diamond Bar’s Offense but looking at Max Preps, they averaged 400+ yards of total offense and 30 points a game with 3 Sophmore receivers, and a sophmore QB, who looks like he threw for 2,000 yards and 23 Touchdowns. I guess you can say they need a better offense, but what do you want? Diamond Bar’s defense has been bad for the past 10 years, im sure all the defensive coordinator’s problem. DB will be competitive but they wont beat Diamond Ranch and West Covina because those teams have real football players. If you watch those games DB just looks scared.

  • reality

    Bonita needs to solve only the QB issue. When you have a young man that is obviously overly concerned about the rush so much so that he wont or cant pass and then he cant or wont run hard for yardage, then you cant win close games without luck.. You have to call his number early and often next week to run and get hit and see how he responds. Get him dirty. Make him lead. If that does,nt get him motivated then take him out.. It’s hurting to watch him..