The end of the fall season for featured a tough loss in the Semi-Finals of the Division II playoffs for the El Diamante football program. For the 2nd consecutive season, the Miners went down just one step closer to a valley title. Dinuba knocked off El Diamante by a score of 24-7 back on November 17th. The Emperors advanced to their 5th title game in 9 years, where they would eventually lose to The Tribe of Tulare Union.
Although the score says otherwise, the Miners’ season-ending defeat was far from a blowout. The Miners jumped on the board first with a QB sneak from Parker Boswell, and the contest was notched up at 7 a piece heading into the intermission.
But after halftime, that’s when Dinuba took over.
The Emperors tallied for 17 unanswered points, and piled up 4 interceptions on defense to ice the game. They had the Miner offense in shambles and out of sync from beginning to end. Despite a few explosive runs here and there, DeVontae Freeman had a quiet night. And the only electrifying play through the passing game was on a deep ball connection from Boswell to Reno Gonzales. Other than that, we saw a Miner offense that was overwhelmed and out of whack. The defense stood their ground for the most part, but quick and inefficient drives on offense resulted in a tired and worn down defense against one of the best rushing attacks in the Central Valley. Not a great formula.
After the 24-7 defeat, the Miners season ended with a total record of 8-4. Everyone within the program expected nothing less than to get back to the valley game. And even though that goal came up short on a cold, frigid night in Dinuba, the Miners’ season reminded everyone in the Central Valley of how much of a powerhouse the program is. There were a lot of up and a lot of downs, but the resiliency shown by the Green Sea on the football field was something that everyone took notice of for this year, and many more years to come.
WHAT TO EXPECT NEXT SEASON:
Every single season, the Miners are thrown into the meat grinder to start the season. The past two years, they’ve opened their season and against two powerhouses in Tulare Union and Tulare Western. Both Union and Western played for a Valley title this season, and The Tribe of Tulare Union are now contending for a State championship with a 13-0 record. Quickly after that, the Miners will have a Week 4 revenge matchup with Dinuba. That’s 3 very strong opponents to start off the season, so the Miners could be in for the type of season they had this year. Next year’s campaign is a fresh start no matter what, so let’s be clear that anything can happen. Mark Rogers will have the Green Sea ready to win no matter who stands on the other sideline. But from a speculation standpoint, it wouldn’t be the end of the world if El D got off to another sluggish start, because they’re very capable of righting the ship and making a postseason surge, just like we saw from them this year. They’ll be reloading with half their starting lineup returning, including Parker Boswell, Jake Garbani, Jayvon Hightower, Eric Zendejas, and Isaiah Loring. I’m well aware it’s easier for me to stay optimistic because I’m apart of the Green Sea myself. But I have an inside look on these players that not a lot of people have. They’re angry about the way their season ended, and they want vengeance. Don’t be surprised if the calendar turns to November next season, and you see the El Diamante Miners once again contending for a valley title. It’s what they want. It’s what they expect. And it’s going to be a fun rollercoaster to jump on.