Jets Retain Island Bowl Crown, 22-18

Photo courtesy of Ed Oswalt. Encinal Jets quarterback David Romero-Rienholz hands the ball off to running back Archie Cole in last Friday’s Island Bowl. Cole scored the game’s winning touchdown.

Encinal High beat Alameda High 22-18 this weekend at the 2018 Island Bowl. This victory secured yet another win for the Jets, who have lost to the Hornets only twice in the past 10 years. The game, which took place at the Jets’ home of Willie Stargell Field last Friday, saw the two teams neck and neck with each other throughout its entirety. 
Fans packed the bleachers to the brim for the biggest game of the year. Many in the stands anticipated an exciting and very plausible win for the Hornets. They led until Encinal’s number 25, Archie Cole, scored the winning touchdown with one minute and seven seconds left in the game.
After an uneventful first quarter, the two teams entered the second quarter with no score. However, things began to look up when both Jets and Hornets scored touchdowns within two minutes of each other, Encinal with an extra point from a successful field goal, to enter halftime at 7-6.
The halftime show consisted of impressive performances from the schools’ cheerleading squads. Both groups showcased their skills, utilizing both dance and cheer elements in their routines. Complementing their movements were mashups of popular songs, both modern and retro, including “In My Feelings” by Drake and The Sugarhill Gang’s “Apache (Jump on It).”
Entering the second half with only a one-point score difference, the third quarter paralleled the first with neither team scoring. But the fourth quarter heated up with four touchdowns and saw the Jets and Hornets fired up until the very last second. 
The Hornets started the fourth quarter with another touchdown, bringing them to a timely lead until the Jets scored six minutes later with yet another extra point, climbing ahead at 14-12. With the clock ticking away, the Jets’ touchdown left the Hornets and their fans anxious until another touchdown by Alameda’s Darryl Brown (11) had everyone anticipating a rare Hornet Island Bowl victory. 
With just three minutes left on the clock and the Hornets in a four-point lead, things were looking good for Alameda High. But Encinal’s Archie Cole cut their celebration short when he scored a touchdown two minutes later, and along with a two-point conversion, brought the Jets back in the lead 22-18. 
With one minute and seven seconds on the clock, the Hornets were unable to get past the Jets’ defenses and recover despite a valiant effort. With another victory under their belt, the Encinal Jets are set to play against Hercules tomorrow, Friday, Sept. 14, hopeful to continue their winning streak. 
Despite their loss in the Island Bowl, the Hornets displayed an above-average performance, playing against their hometown rival.
The Hornets will take on Skyline High tomorrow night.

Joy Diamond is an Alameda High School journalism student. Maya Kherbache contributed to this story. 

Photo courtesy of Ed Oswalt. Hornets running back Darryl Brown makes a break for it.

Editor’s note: The overall record after 64 Island Bowls, is now Hornets 32, Jets 30 with two ties over the years.