Dragons Outfly Jets

Dragons Outfly Jets


The Encinal Jets have been eliminated from the North Coast Section (NCS) Div. III playoffs after a 28-0 loss to Bishop O’Dowd of Oakland last Saturday, Nov. 19, on the road.

The match up pitted the West Alameda County Conference (WACC) Shoreline League champion (Encinal) against the WACC Foothill League champion (Bishop O’Dowd). Encinal moved down to the Shoreline League from the Foothill League before the start of the season.

The two teams were locked in a defensive battle for most of the contest. Neither team gained much traction through the run game. Encinal senior running back Brandon Duckett was held to just 18 yards rushing on 11 carries in the NCS quarterfinal match up. Jet quarterback Theori Oliver rushed 12 times for just nine yards. Bishop O’Dowd did not fare much better as Dragon starting running back Austin Jones amassed just 46 yards on 24 carries. However, Jones did manage to score a touchdown on a nine-yard run in the fourth quarter.

What set the two teams apart in the contest was the passing game and turnovers. Senior quarterback Joe Deluca was efficient for the Dragons. He went seven-for-10 passing for 113 yards and threw two touchdown passes. He threw his first touchdown on a 29-yard pass to Quinn Brinnon with 3:47 left to go in the second quarter. His second touchdown was to Jevon Holland on a 20-yard pass with less than a minute to go in the first half. 

Meanwhile, the Jets passing game struggled. Oliver threw the ball seven times, only completing one pass for seven yards. One of his six incompletions was an interception by Holland. 

Turnovers were also a major factor in the Jets’ shutout loss. The team turned the ball over on four occasions in the game, including Holland’s interception. The other three turnovers were all fumbles. The first was forced by Avery Bilensky and recovered by Chris Lucas. The second was forced by Kenyan Branscomb Jr. and recovered by Cooper Hagmier late in the third quarter. The third occurred on a fumbled snap by Oliver and was recovered by Lucas late in the final period.

This is the first time the Jets have been shutout this year. In fact, the Jets have not been held scoreless in a game since Oct. 30, 2014, when they lost 40-0, which was also against Bishop O’Dowd.

The Jets were on a hot scoring streak entering the contest against the Dragons. They scored 40 points or more in its previous four games. Encinal beat Arroyo of San Lorenzo 48-0 on Oct. 21, beat Alameda 41-0 on Oct. 28, defeated San Lorenzo 51-0 on Nov. 4 and beat Petaluma 47-6 in the NCS Div. III first round on Nov. 11.

The Jets close out their 2016 season with a 9-3 overall record. They won the WACC Shoreline League title going 4-1 in league play.

Former Oakland Raider Napoleon Kaufman coaches the Dragons.