Jets Remain Undefeated with Road Win
The Encinal High School football team fought off a slow start to take down the Piedmont Highlanders 28-21 last Friday on the road.
The Highlanders scored two quick touchdowns in the opening period before the Jets’ offense could even touch the ball. On the opening possession of the game, the Highlanders capped off a length-of-the-field drive, which included a key fourth-down conversion for 13 yards, with a five-yard touchdown run by senior Julian Turner.
On the ensuing kickoff, the Jets fumbled the ball and the Highlanders recovered it at the Encinal 29-yard line. It took just one play for Piedmont to capitalize on Encinal’s mistake. On the next snap, Highlander quarterback Jacob Prager scrambled out of the pocket and hit receiver Cole Kingston. Kingston, yards away from the end zone, broke a tackle and then outran the secondary to the right pylon for Piedmont’s second touchdown of the game. The Highlanders led 14-0 midway through the first quarter.
Trailing by two scores the Jets turned to their senior leadersto lead the way. Encinal quarterback Theori Oliver responded with a 26-yard touchdown pass to his younger brother Teddy on the Jets’ ensuing drive. The play capped off an 87-yard drive by the Jets. Senior Taj Banks, Jr.’s 36-yard run kickstarted the drive.
The Jets further closed the gap in the second quarter when Banks scored on a 17-yard touchdown run. However, Encinal missed the extra point. As a result they still trailed 14-13. Encinal attempted a short field goal just before the end of the first half, but the kick was blocked and returned to the Encinal 49-yard line. Prager threw it to Kingston down the field, but Banks tackled him at the five-yard line as the first half expired.
Encinal’s strong defense in the second quarter continued in the third. The Jets held the Highlanders scoreless in the quarter just as it did in the second. The Jets’ offense continued the attack , led by Banks. The running back scored another touchdown, this time on a one-yard run on fourth-and-goal. The Jets made a two-point conversion to take a 21-14 lead.
Banks scored his third touchdown after bouncing to the outside for an eight-yard run.
The score gave the Jets a 28-14 lead. The touchdown was much needed insurance because Prager hit junior Will Kalmbach for a 19-yard touchdown late in the final quarter. The Highlanders attempted an onside kick, but Theori recovered the ball and the Jets closed out the game.
Theori and Banks were instrumental in the Jets’ victory. Theori completed 16 of his 18 pass attempts for 171 yards and a touchdown. He also rushed for 74 yards. Banks rushed for 130 yards and three touchdowns on just 17 carries. He also caught seven passes for 82 yards.
The Jets improved their record to 5-0. They begin league play in the West Alameda County Conference (WACC) Shoreline League with a showdown against Mt. Eden of Hayward on the road on Oct. 6.
The Encinal team had to play after receiving bad news about one of its players. Senior Jacob Tolbert had to stop playing football for the Jets after learning he had an enlarged heart during a medical check-up.
The Alameda Hornets football team won a wild 43-40 contest over Skyline of Oakland last Friday at Thompson Field.
The Hornets got the scoring started with a 49-yard touchdown run early in the first quarter. The Hornets trailed 40-36 late in the game, but rallied sto take the lead for good in the final quarter.
The Hornets forced three turnovers (two interceptions, one fumble recovery) in the game.
The Hornets (2-2) will take on Berkeley tomorrow on the road.