Jets Unhorse Trojans, Hornets Swatted, 48-21
The Encinal High School Jets football team will advance to the second round of the North Coast Section (NCS) Div. III playoffs after a 49-0 rout of Petaluma High Saturday, Nov. 3 at Stargell Field.
Even though the Jets and Trojans entered the tournament as the eighth and ninth seeds, respectively, Encinal overwhelmed Petaluma with its athletic talent.
The Jets’ offense took off before most people in attendance could get to their seats.
Encinal quarterback David Romero-Rienholz connected with junior Teddy Oliver for a 48-yard touchdown pass less than a minute into the contest. Oliver leaped up for the catch then dodged three tackles on his way to the end zone. After stopping the Trojans’ offense on fourth down, the Jets were able to get its second touchdown of the quarter, this time on a Rienholz pass-and-catch with senior Landis Green. Encinal led 14-0 at the end of the first quarter.
The Trojans began the second quarter with much more promise. They recovered an Encinal fumble and drove the ball into the red zone. However, their momentum quickly evaporated when senior Trojan kicker Daxton Hogya missed a 27-yard field goal attempt. The Jets made them pay for the mistake. On the ensuing drive Rienholz hit Oliver for a 91-yard touchdown pass.
The Trojans’ last attempt at a score before the end of the first half was also rebuffed when Encinal sophomore defensive back Vincent Nunley picked off Petaluma quarterback Cole Powers and ran 91 yards down the left sideline for a touchdown. Encinal added another touchdown on a 28-yard pass to Green from Romero-Rienholz with less than a minute left in the first half. The Jets led 35-0 at the end of the second quarter.
The Jets scored on a 75-yard punt return touchdown from Green and a 25-yard fumble recovery from senior defensive end Jalen Hercules in the third quarter to increase their lead to 49-0. Encinal’s overall record moved to 8-3, while Petaluma’s dropped to 6-5.
Encinal will now take on the number-one seed in the NCS Div. III playoffs Cardinal Newman of Santa Rosa in the quarterfinal round tomorrow. The Jets will be looking to avenge their 49-32 loss to Cardinal Newman in last year’s Div. III quarterfinal.
The Alameda High Hornets football team’s season ended after a 48-21 loss to Miramonte of Orinda in the NCS Div. III playoff first round Friday, Nov. 2, at Thompson Field.
The Hornets were the home team, even though they were the 12th seed and the Matadors were the fifth seed because they were co-champions in the West Alameda County Conference Shoreline League. AHS used their home-field advantage to jump out to a 7-0 lead in the first quarter on a 10-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Padraig Lane to senior Elijah Twegbe.
The Hornets added two more touchdowns to lead 21-14 at halftime. However, the Hornets’ offense sputtered in the second half and they were outscored, 34-0, in the final two quarters.
The Matadors took the lead early in the third quarter after running back Henry Vacakis capped off the first drive of second half with a 26-yard touchdown run. Miramonte converted a two-point conversion to take a 22-21 lead. Vacakis rushed for 139 yards and scored three touchdowns in the contest.
Part of the reason for the Hornets’ inept second-half offense was because of Twegbe’s absence. He left the game in the second quarter due to injury. Before his departure Twegbe rushed for 89 of the Hornets’ 189 rushing yards in the first half. AHS managed to rush for just 92 yards as a team in the second half. Lane rushed for 94 yards and a touchdown in the contest.
The Hornets ended the 2018 season with an 8-3 overall record. It was one of the best seasons in recent Hornet history. The team has not won eight games in a season in more than a decade and a half.
Miramonte will advance to play El Cerrito on Saturday.