Serra-San Mateo 42, Encinal 13
The Star: Jon Allen ran for 81 yards on 13 carries — 43 of which came on his first carry.
The Turning Point: Encinal took a 6-0 lead into the second quarter, but had a punt blocked near its own goal line, which was picked up for a Serra touchdown with 9:19 left in the first half.
The Quote: "This is what we needed," Encinal coach Joe Tenorio said. "We needed to play someone who would kick our (butt) all game long."
What's Next? The Jets travel to rival Alameda for next week's "Island Bowl" on Friday at 7 p.m.
Bottom Line: Encinal proved it could hang with elite-level competition in the early going, but it simply wore down late in the game as Serra's depth played a factor in a final score which doesn't indicate what was mostly a competitive game.
Encinal High football coach Joe Tenorio was looking for a challenge when he called Serra-San Mateo coach Patrick Walsh to setup a two-game series prior to last season.
His wish was granted, twice.
The small-school Jets showed they have the talent and scheme to compete with the Central Coast Section power, but for the second year in a row, their lack of depth proved to be in the difference in a 42-13 loss in San Mateo on Saturday.
"This is what we needed," Tenorio said. "We needed to play someone who would kick our (butt) all game long."
It was the Jets who did the butt-kicking early on, marching 80 yards in eight plays on the game's opening drive to take a 6-0 lead on a one-yard plunge from quarterback Andrew Ve'e.
Serra's first three drives ended with a punt, a blocked field goal and another punt before the Padres got the game's first big break.
On fourth-and-14 from its own 16-yard line early in the second quarter, Encinal had a punt blocked by Serra's Nicholas Prince, who picked up the ball in the end zone to propel the Padres to a 7-6 lead.
"I have myself to blame for that," Tenorio said. "Myself and the other coaches have to have them more prepared. That's one of the tough parts about having a small team, we don't get a good (scout team in practice for) plays like that."
The Jets were forced to punt on their next possession, but got the ball back when Jon Allen stripped the Serra punt-returner and recovered the fumble to give Encinal the ball at the Serra 39.
Nothing came of it, though, as the Jets turned the ball over on downs without picking up a first down.
Serra answered with an impressive 10-play, 65-yard drive, which was capped by a one-yard touchdown run from Alex Bravo with 46.5 second to go in the half.
After taking over at their own 45 to start the second half, the Padres needed five plays to take a 21-6 lead. Quarterback Andrew McAindon found Austin March for a 35-yard scoring strike as Serra started to pull away.
The Jets weren't done quite yet.
After both teams turned the ball over on downs, the Jets went on a six-play, 53-yard drive and found the end zone on a 14-yard pass from Ve'e to Jon Trodder. Ve'e and Trodder also hooked up on the drive's key play — a 27-yard pass on third-and-four from the Serra 47.
Ve'e, who was making his first varsity start at quarterback after sitting out last week's win over El Cerrito with a bone fragments in his knee, completed 13-of-22 passes for 131 yards with one interception.
"Andrew did a good job coming out and making some throws," Tenorio said. "He's going to be good."
Ve'e knew playing a team like Serra (2-1), especially in his first game, would be a challenge. The Padres opened the season with a loss to De La Salle, but beat Monte Vista 28-21 last week in Danville.
"Their defense is pretty impressive," he said. "It was a really physical game, but we got a lot of confidence after going out with that first drive."
Leading 21-13, Serra's depth finally started to take its toll on the Jets.
The Padres used a nine-play, 70-yard drive to take a 28-13 lead on their ensuing possession and scored touchdowns on their next two drives to run away with it.
"I think they just ran out of gas there at the end," Serra coach Patrick Walsh said. "Same thing last year. We were tied and halftime, but we were able to wear them down. That's a good team for having just 25 guys."
Tenorio told Walsh he'd like to continue the series next year, but Walsh, who said he'd consider it, isn't ready to commit to renewing it just yet.
Encinal can now turn its attention to next week's "Island Bowl" rivalry game against Alameda.
"It's an important game," Ve'e said. "It's always one of the games circles on the calendar, but today (against Serra), this was the really big game."
Allen rushed for 81 yards on 13 carries, while Trodder rushed for 51 yards on seven carries.
Serra 42, Encinal 13
Encinal 6 0 7 0 — 13
Serra 0 14 7 21 — 42
8:05, 1st: E — Ve'e 1 run (kick blocked)
9:19, 2nd: S — Prince fumble recovery in end zone (Toms kick)
46.5, 2nd: S — Alspaugh 1 run (Toms kick)
10:17, 3rd: S — March 83 pass from McAindon (Toms kick)
1:19, 3rd: E — Trodder 14 pass from Ve'e (Trodder kick)
10:20, 4th: S — Wilson 18 run (Toms kick)
3:39, 4th: S — Bravo 3 run (Toms kick)
1:46, 4th: S — Quezada 9 run (Toms kick)
Rushing (car-yards): E — Allen 13-81, Trodder 7-51, Paschal 4-15, Okamura 2-10, Meno 2-6, Hill 3-3, Ve'e 10-1. S — Wilson 13-114, Bravo 18-85, McAindon 5-21, Romeo 1-12, Quezada 1-9, Timko 2-9.
Passing (comp-att-yards-int): E — Ve'e 13-22-131-1. S — McAindon 6-13-99-0, Sattenwhile 0-1-0-0.
Receiving (Rec-yards): E — Trodder 2-41, Bills 5-34, Paschal 1-20, Banks 2-18, Sinkfield 1-16, Allen 2-12. S — March 2-48, Northnagel 1-26, Timko 1-19, Crump 2-6.
Team Offense (rushing-passing-total)
Fumbles/lost: Encinal 0/0; Serra 1/1.
Records: Encinal 1-1, Serra 2-1.
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