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Hornets fall to Jets in 59th annual Island Bowl

By Isabelle Shin

The Hornets and the Jets battle during the Island Bowl. Photo by Bill Thomas
The Hornets and the Jets battle during the Island Bowl.
Photo by Bill Thomas

“It’s the Island Bowl, every year is special,” said campus supervisor Stephen Burnett, more commonly known as Coach B. “Rivalry never changes. Passion, excitement, adrenaline, it’s nothing like beating your rival.”

The Island Bowl has been a tradition for 59 years. The two rival teams played this year’s game at Encinal on Oct. 4. Every year, excitement builds up in the community and the Hornets prepare for what the Jets will bring.

Prior to the game, senior Nabil Ehsan said of his team: “We’re disciplined and ready for the task ahead. We’re prepared for the type of tactics they have.” Unfortunately for Ehsan and the team, the Jets’ tactics were enough for a victory as they defeated the Hornets 14-10.

Ehsan has been playing football since his freshman year, and said playing his last Island Bowl was bittersweet.

Many believed it was year of the Hornet, including senior player Chris Wynn who said “we are better in every aspect of the game [with] more desire to win.” However, that desire wasn’t shown during the game, taking a loss to the Jets.

The crowd was smaller than usual, but it didn’t affect the players, according to Wynn. “There were missed opportunities and Encinal wasn’t even playing better [than us], which is why we were mad,” he said.

Contrary to Wynn’s statement, the game seemed to be an equal match for much of the game. The Hornets scored the first touchdown during the last five minutes of the first quarter with a 15-yard pass to senior Keelan Doss, but were tied in the second quarter with a touchdown made by Encinal’s Isaiah Hunter.

Near the end of the third quarter, senior Nick Chen put the Hornets back in the lead by making a 36-yard field goal. However, with just two minutes left of that quarter, Hunter ran back for another touchdown, putting the score to 14-10.

After a punt in the final quarter from the Hornets, the Jets ran the ball 13 times. Their quarterback Taivale Tautalatasi took a knee twice to end the game with another Encinal win.

This is the eighth consecutive loss of Hornet football to the Jets in eight years. Many seniors were disappointed to see the game end because they were unable to experience a victory in their four years.

Next year will be the 60th anniversary of the Island Bowl, and many are hoping the trophy will be returned to Alameda High.

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