Hornets Land the Final Sting

Bill Thomas -- Alameda High running back evades a defender in the Hornets' home game against American High on Friday, Nov. 4.

Hornets Land the Final Sting

The Alameda High School (AHS) football team ended their regular season in style, sending longtime coach Steve Yamasaki into retirement with a 44-24 defeat of American High School of Fremont in front of a nice crowd of students and alumni on a cool winter night.
On Nov. 4, the Hornets, fresh off last week’s victory at Kennedy High of Fremont, hosted the American Eagles.

Alameda was hoping to close the season with two wins in a row and a winning record. The Hornets dominated the game from start to finish as they jumped out to an early lead and never trailed. Their defense was able to get stops when needed, and their offense produced a lot of long drives and explosive plays. They also committed fewer penalties and turnovers than their opponent.

The Hornets’ defense got a strip sack of the Eagles’ quarterback on the first possession of the game. They took advantage of the turnover as junior AJhuan Parker scampered for a 22-yard touchdown run to put the Hornets ahead 7-0. After stopping the Eagles on fourth down, AHS extended their lead through a rushing touchdown by junior quarterback Eli Slez. The Eagles cut the lead in half, scoring a touchdown after recovering the Hornets’ punt returner’s fumble. The Hornets answered with a touchdown pass from Slez to junior Will Roizen that restored their fourteen-point lead and then they got their first of two interceptions in the game. After a couple more scores, including a 46-yard field goal by kicker Juneau Fennell, AHS went into halftime winning 24-16.

Hornets’ Head Coach Robin Morris said that Fennell’s long field goal swung momentum in their favor. AHS did not let up in the second half, ensuring that there would not be a comeback by the Eagles. Slez connected with Roizen in the end zone again and senior Christian Baca put the game away late in the fourth quarter. He snatched an interception on defense and then broke free for a 52-yard touchdown run on his team’s ensuing offensive play.

Afterwards, Morris reflected on the game.

“I am happy for the seniors and for Coach Yamasaki who is retiring after 43 years,” said Morris. “It was nice to see Christian Baca have a great senior game and send the seniors out with a win as their last moment. We celebrated as a family. The players bought in and had fun, which is most important.”

With this win, the Hornets finished the regular season with an overall record of 5-4-1 and a third-place league mark of 3-2. However, their record was not good enough to qualify for the North Coast Section playoffs and their 2022 season is over.