By Matthew Schuler
(Walnut)- Going into yesterday’s Hacienda League match-up, the odds were looking favorable for an undefeated Los Altos (4-0) team to roll over a winless Walnut (0-4) squad.
Someone must have forgot to mention that to the Mustangs.
After four consecutive losses in pre-league match-ups, winless Walnut took out its frustrations on Los Altos, defeating the Conquerors 34-14 to notch their first win of the season in front of a ecstatic home crowed at Ken Gunn stadium.
“The other four games we just didn’t play to our potential,” said Walnut coach Michael O’Shields. “The kids put it together tonight and…. at the right time, when it mattered.”
Not only did they get it together, but they also made a statement.
Devin Brown rushed for 130 yards, Chris Mendez finished with 120 total, and the Mustang defense shut out the conquerors in the first three quarters of play, jumping out to a 17-0 lead going into the fourth.
“We played four quarters,” said O’Shields. “That’s the big thing, that’s what we’ve been talking to the kids about.”
Los Altos quarterback Shane Virnala accounted for both of the Conquerors scores and added 152 yards total. Virnala connected with Andy Sotello on six pass plays for 60 yards.
The strong defensive effort for Walnut finally surfaced after giving up a total of 147 points in its first four losses. Not only did they frustrate a Los Altos offense, they derailed a high momentum machine for L.A that was averaging 33 points a game in their undefeated streak.
Ken Davis came up with the big plays on the defensive side for the Stangs, coming up with a big fourth down sack and two crucial pass deflections to deflate three Cpnqueror drives.
Coach O’Shields credits the win not to the team’s defense, but rather mental preparation.
“That was a big emphasis this week,” said O’Shields, “Mental preparedness.”
The Conquerors (4-1) look forward to a home game against Roland (2-2) as Walnut (1-4) hopes to continue its streak against a tough West Covina (4-1) team.