Now things start to get interesting for the El Diamante Miners.
It’s time to see just how special of a season it could be for the Miners.
El Diamante trounced the Hanford West Huskies 42-0 in a West Yosemite League game Thursday night at Groppetti Automotive Visalia Community Stadium.
El Diamante improved to 6-1 overall and forged a tie atop the WYL standings with Redwood (6-1). Both teams are 3-0 in league. The Miners visit Redwood next week, which is followed by a visit to fellow co-defending WYL champion Lemoore (5-2, 2-1). If El Diamante wins both games, it’s practically a lock that it will be awarded the No. 1 Division II playoff seed.
Are the Miners ready to face the teeth of their WYL schedule?
“I think we are,” El Diamante junior quarterback J.C. Robles said. “We’ve improved with some things that we needed to improve. I thought we played really well. We did what we have to do for the rest of the season, and that’s to play fundamentally sound football.”
Thursday’s score belies El Diamante’s complete command of this game.
How in the world does a 42-point margin do that?
Well, there was a running clock in operation right after the second-half kickoff.
El Diamante scored touchdowns on each of its first six possessions. The first five occurred in the first half en route to the Miners building a 35-0 lead, which prompted the “white flag” from Hanford West.
The Miners had 313 yards of total offense in the first half on 28 plays. They finished with 419 yards of total offense.
El Diamante senior running back DeAngello Torres had 118 yards and three touchdowns on 13 carries. Senior fullback Alex Schapansky had 71 yards and a touchdown on seven carries.
Robles was 5-of-7 for 164 yards and two touchdowns. He threw a pair of scoring darts to Nick Bigger for 12 and 16 yards, respectively.
If there was anything from this game that suggests that El Diamante has more firepower than it had a year ago at this time — even a little more firepower than a couple of weeks ago — was Robles’ passing antics. Aside from his two touchdowns to Bigger, he hooked up with Joey Chica for a 69-yard play. The Miners’ use of play-action caused the Huskies to bite, opening up some passing lanes — especially on the second touchdown pass to Bigger.
“We like to pound the ball right at teams, so we’re always going to have that run game. But we wanted to improve our passing game, fine tune some things and I think we did that,” Robles said. “Hopefully [the passing game] gets hot, and that makes us that much better and not so one-dimensional.”