VISALIA — A banged-up DeAngello Torres gave all he had and a now-healthy Tymerick Martin returned with a bang to lead El Diamante High to an important football victory Friday night at Mineral King Bowl.
Torres rumbled for 153 yards and a pair of touchdowns with an injured groin while Martin registered three sacks after missing two games with an injured shoulder as The Bee's Central Section No. 10-ranked Miners downed No. 15 Redwood 29-14.
The win gives El Diamante (7-1, 4-0) sole possession of first place in the West Yosemite League and adds a major trump card to its pursuit of the top playoff seed in Division II. The Miners entered as The Bee's No. 1 team in D-II, while Redwood (6-2, 3-1) was No. 2.
"This was a really big win for us," said Miners quarterback J.C. Robles, who scored on a 1-yard sneak and added a 5-yard touchdown pass to Joey Chica. "We wanted to show we could beat a top-notch Division II team and hopefully get that No. 1 seed."
Torres and Martin helped make that possible with a series of big plays in the second half.
After being held to an uncharacteristically low 22 yards on 10 carries in the first half, Torres took the first play of the second 83 yards to the Redwood 3-yard line. And Torres finished the drive with a 1-yard plunge on fourth-and-inches to put El Diamante ahead 20-7 with 8:40 left in the third quarter.
"That was huge," Miners coach Mark Rogers said of his three-year starting running back. "He'd been a little slowed by with a groin injury, but that's the type of warrior he is. He wanted the ball so we let him go and he made a great play."
Redwood responded with a 76-yard touchdown run two plays later from El Diamante transfer Christian Sanchez to make it 20-14, but that's all Martin and Co. would allow the rest of the way.
Protecting a 26-14 lead late in the third quarter, Darius Liles and Martin turned in back-to-back sacks on third and fourth downs after the Rangers marched to the El Diamante 34.
"Those were big plays — the turning point in the game," Rogers said.
El Diamante took over and capped a 14-play drive that milked more than 6 minutes off the clock with a 29-yard Chica field goal that made it 29-14.
Martin then came up with two more sacks on Redwood's next dive, including an 8-yard drop that forced the Rangers into a fourth-and-36 play they would not convert.
"I was feeling good out there," said Martin, who separated his shoulder Sept. 27 against Mt. Whitney. "I was glad to be back out there helping my teammates get this win."
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