Hornets End Season with Victory, 22-20
The Alameda High football team seniors were given a jovial sendoff after winning its regular season finale and presumably final home game on Senior Night 22-20 over Hayward last Friday at Thompson Field.
Hayward quarterback Ramon Barraza hit Donovan Survine in the front left corner from 27 yards out to bring the Farmers within two of the Hornets, with under a minute to play. However, the Farmers were penalized for excessive celebration after the play, which pushed Hayward’s two-point conversion attempt back to the 18-yard line.
Barraza dropped back to pass on the two-point attempt, but Alameda defensive end and senior captain Adam Joo hit the quarterback before he could get the pass off, preserving the 22-20 lead for the Hornets. Alameda was able to run the clock and hold on for the victory.
At one point Alameda led 22-0 in the contest. Alameda’s last score came just two minutes into the third quarter when senior quarterback Devin Nash hit receiver Taj Banks Jr. on a quick screen. Banks made two defenders miss before going 38 yards for the score.
Hayward didn’t get on the board until midway through the third quarter when Francisco Ramos scored on a three-yard rushing touchdown. Hayward cut the lead to eight when Barraza hit tight end Brandon Williams on a bootleg to the right from eight yards out, less than a minute into the fourth quarter. Williams out-jumped two Hornet defenders along the back line of the end zone.
The win was especially significant for several reasons. Because the Hornets finished 3-2 in the West Alameda County Conference (WACC) Shoreline League, they qualified for the postseason.
The Hornets were awarded the 12th seed, out of 14 teams, in the North Coast Section (NCS) Div. II playoffs. They will take on fifth-seed Ukiah in the opening round on Saturday, Nov. 12, on the road. Making it to the playoffs is a huge feat for the Hornets who started the season 0-6.
The victory was also big because it gave Encinal the chance to win the Shoreline League. Entering the final week of the season Hayward and Encinal were tied atop the league at 3-1.
However, Hayward defeated Encinal earlier this year 12-6, so they held the tiebreaker if the two teams had the same league record.
However, with Hayward’s loss and Encinal’s 51-0 win over San Lorenzo, the Jets were named WACC Shoreline League champs with a 4-1 league record.
Alameda finished in a three-way tie at 3-2 with Mt. Eden of Hayward and Hayward, but because the Hornets beat both Mt. Eden and Hayward, they owned the tiebreaker and finished in second place outright.
Encinal (8-2 overall) were awarded the seventh seed in the NCS Div. III playoffs. They will take on Petaluma on Saturday at Willie Stargell Field.