Looking at the scene after the game, you couldn't tell that neither team had won.
On one side of the field, the Diamond Bar High School football team stood in disbelief, shocked at what had transpired in the fourth quarter.
On the other side, the Rancho Palos Verdes Miraleste team celebrated on its home field as if it had just won a conference title.
Such emotion for a 14-14 early-season game filled with penalties and mistakes?
It wasn't your ordinary tie.
"I never thought I would be happy to get a tie," Miraleste Coach Gary Kimbrell said.
But he was, especially after watching his team rally from a 14-0 deficit in the fourth quarter, and then hang on after Diamond Bar drove to the Miraleste 17 with six seconds left to try for a game-winning field goal.
But that, too, went awry for Diamond Bar (1-0-1), as a bad center snap forced holder Tom Lucero to attempt a pass. He completed it to Kyle Shuler, who gained nine yards to the eight but didn't get out of bounds before time expired.
Miraleste was fortunate it wasn't blown out. In the first half, Diamond Bar used its size advantage to dominate as the Brahmas outgained the Marauders, 134 yards to 67, but led only 6-0. Both teams had numerous penalties, and Diamond Bar Coach Terry Roche spent most of the game engaged in verbal battles with the officials.
At the beginning of the fourth quarter, Miraleste appeared doomed as Diamond Bar took a 14-0 lead on Sean Trejo's second touchdown of the game.
But Diamond Bar, which had done its best through three quarters to keep Miraleste in the game, came through again. Brahma quarterback Jim Edmonds fumbled while trying to pitch on an option play, and Miraleste recovered at the Diamond Bar 47 with 8:53 left.
On third and 12 from the Diamond Bar 36, Marauder quarterback Todd Hollingshead escaped the pass rush and threw long for halfback Max Schroeder. Schroeder, twisting his body, caught the ball and landed on his back in the end zone. But the two-point conversion pass failed, and Diamond Bar led, 14-6, with 7:21 remaining.
On the ensuing kickoff, Miraleste recovered an onside kick at midfield. The drive stalled and, on fourth down, the Marauders sent in the punting unit. But the center snapped the ball to the up man, running back Mike Silane, who ran 20 yards for a first down at the Diamond Bar 30.
Miraleste then drove to a touchdown, and Silane scored on a three-yard run with 1:24 left. The Marauders still needed a two-point conversion, which they got when Hollingshead rolled right and threw back over the middle to halfback Joe Clark.
In other games: City Washington 12, Los Angeles 0--The Generals opened the scoring in the second quarter on a 30-yard run by Harold Brookins, who took a lateral from David Wilson, after Wilson caught a 10-yard pass from quarterback Tyrone Dixon. Washington's second TD came in the third quarter on Jason Avant's 45-yard run. The game, at Washington, was the season opener for both teams.
Southern Section Hawthorne 13, Inglewood Morningside 0--For the second straight week, the Cougar defense did not allow a touchdown. Hawthorne defensive back Kevin Harris intercepted a Morningside pass and returned it 40 yards for one touchdown and sophomore quarterback Curtis Conway completed a 41-yard pass to Tony Church to account for the second score. The Cougars allowed Moringside (1-1) just 26 yards total offense in the nonleague game at Hawthorne (2-0).
Hacienda Heights Los Altos 49, La Puente 7--Darren DeSpain, son of head Coach Dwayne DeSpain, completed 7 of 9 passes for 106 yards and 2 touchdowns, and running back David Crosby had 133 yards and 2 touchdowns as Los Altos, the No. 1 team in the Eastern Conference, opened up a 49-0 second quarter lead in a nonleague game at Los Altos. La Puente is now 0-2 and Los Altos is 2-0.
Canyon Country Canyon 42, La Canada 6--Quarterback Ken Sollom completed 18 of 28 passes for 287 yards including touchdowns of 20, 17 and 9 yards as Canyon upped its state-leading win streak to 40 games in the nonleague contest at La Canada. Canyon flanker Chad Ziegler caught his fifth and six touchdown passes in just two games. Canyon, which led at haltime, 35-6, is now 2-0 and La Canada is 1-1.
Downey St. John Bosco 35, Gardena Serra 14--Quarterback Jim Sterner completed 18 of 28 passes for 220 yards and 3 touchdowns and teammate Oscar Meza gained 138 yards on 14 carries and scored once in the nonleague game at St. John Bosco. The Braves are now 2-0 and Cavaliers are 0-2.