Heralds outmatched by Crusaders, Ditmer hurt | La Habra Journal

Posted on 17 October 2015 by La Habra Journal

By Bryant Freese
La Habra Journal

Whittier Christian was unable to get much offense going against a larger Valley Christian team, losing 48-14 Friday night at Whittier College.

The Crusaders started off strong, scoring on their first three possession of the football game.


Herald Quarterback Quinn Commons was 14-26 for 123 yards, with one touchdown an two interceptions Friday against Valley Christian.

It didn’t matter what Whittier Christian tried on the offense, the Heralds couldn’t get anything going against the Valley Christian defense.  The size of both the offensive and defensive lines of that Crusaders created a challenge for Whittier Christian.

Herald Head Coach Sergio Gradialla noted that Whittier Christian lines were getting “over powered” by the larger Crusaders.

Whittier Christian was down 0-13 with 8:06 still left in first quarter.

However, the Herald’s didn’t let the size difference get to them.  On Whittier’s fourth drive of the game Quarterback Quinn Commans put together a 73-yard drive, finishing it off with a six-yard touchdown pass to Thomas Ditmar. Cutting the Crusader lead to 13-6, with 5:33 left in the first quarter.

Commans finished the game with 14-26 for 123 yard with one touchdown and two interceptions.

Valley Christian answered back and went on to score on the very next possession, with a 60 yard touchdown pass from quarterback Jesse Smith to Michael Polk.


Thomas Ditmer was injured during Whittier Christian’s loss Friday night art Whittier College.

But it was right before the end of the first quarter, that the whole mood of the Heralds changed. On an interception thrown by Commans,  Ditmar was hit on a crack-back block, leaving leaving him on the ground. Within minutes the Whittier Fire Department and ambulance were on the field attending to Ditmar and he was taken off on a stretcher.

According to coach Gradilla, Ditmar was taken to a local hospital where he would get an MRI. Gradilla said Ditmer was in good spirits, and explained “his parents said he was joking around with doctors.”

After the injury the game resumed, but with a different feel. The energy of the crowd and the Whittier Christian team seemed to be deflated. Valley Christian went on a 95-yard scoring drive to increase their lead. The Crusaders scored four straight touchdowns after the injury.

Whittier Christian trailed Valley Christian 48-6 at the half.

The Heralds scored late in the second half on a fumble returned for a touchdown by linebacker Chris Almeda.

Whittier Christian will play Village Christian next week at Occidental College.

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