While Ayala High football boosters happily danced during a tailgate party outside, Diamond Bar Coach Terry Roche fretted inside about his team's chances.
"We have to play a perfect game," Roche said. "I'm nervous."
Roche had a right to be.
Lathian Tyler scored Diamond Bar's only touchdown and the Brahmas had to make several key defensive plays in the fourth quarter to upset Chino Hills Ayala, The Times' eighth-ranked team, 7-6, before 8,000 in a battle of undefeated teams at Cal State Fullerton's Titan Field.
Tyler rushed for 73 yards in 16 carries, including a two-yard touchdown run in the first half.
The unranked Brahmas won their eighth consecutive game, including their third in the Sierra League, to secure first place. Ayala dropped to 7-1, 2-1.
Nervous from the start, Roche was digging for his last Rolaid by the fourth quarter.
Holding on to a one-point lead, the Brahmas defense stopped a 15-play drive at their 32-yard line. On fourth and seven, running back Jimmy Lejay fell one-yard short of a first down with four minutes left.
Ayala got the ball again at its 32 with 1:45 left, but the five-play drive ended with quarterback Gabe Garza throwing a screen pass on fourth down to Anthony Redd at the 50, nine yards short of a first.
After failing on a 42-yard field goal, the Bulldogs scored on their second drive of the second quarter. Jason Taylor, who had 115 yards rushing, opened the drive with an 11-yard run, and a personal foul penalty moved the ball to the Ayala 42-yard line. After Garza's six-yard sneak, Taylor broke four tackles for a 36-yard touchdown run to cut the deficit to one. But Alex Bengard's missed extra-point eventually proved costly.