SAN JOSE -- A little brotherly love turned out to be the difference.
Norel Booker threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to twin brother Nathaniel Booker in the second overtime period Friday to give Independence a 37-31 win over Leland.
"We call it twin telepathy,'' Norel Booker said.
It was a costly loss for the Chargers, who would have advanced to the Central Coast Section Open Division playoffs with a win.
Pioneer, instead, will advance as the BVAL Mount Hamilton Division's representative after beating Piedmont Hills 34-33.
The winning score for Independence (5-5, 4-3) came on the second possession of the California tiebreaker.
Christian Newkirk's 32-yard field goal with 3 seconds left tied the game 24-24, capping a Leland comeback from a 24-7 deficit, and sending the game to the California tiebreaker, where each team gets the ball from the 10-yard line.
Both teams scored on their first possessions -- Independence on a 4-yard reception by Christian Jones and Leland on a 1-yard run by Mike McLaughlin -- making it 31-31. Leland missed a 27-yard field goal on its second possession and Independence scored on the Booker to Booker pass.
"In the end it was all about desire and want,'' Independence coach Norm Brown said. "Norel made a play at the end to his brother. He bought himself some time and found his brother downfield.''
Norel Booker threw two first-half touchdown passes -- a 65-yarder to his brother and one of 48 yards to Jones as the Sixers opened a 17-0 lead early in the second quarter.
Leland (8-2, 5-2) came back with a pair of long touchdown runs, a 40-yarder by Ryota Watanabe and a 76-yard scamper by Liam Saito, to draw to within 24-13 at halftime.
The Chargers shut out Independence in the second half, scored on a 1-yard run by Saito -- his 22nd touchdown of the season -- and drove for the tying field goal at the end of regulation.
"You've got to hand it to Leland, they never quit,'' Brown said.
Leland 0 "13 "0 "11 7 0--31
Independence 10 "14 "0 "0 7 6--37
I -- Jones 48 pass from No. Booker (Tovar kick)
I -- Tovar 31 FG
I -- Na. Booker 65 pass from No. Booker (Tovar kick)
L --Watanabe 40 run (Newkirk kick)
I -- Johnson 18 run (Tovar kick)
L -- Saito 76 run (kick failed)
L --Saito 1 run (McLaughlin run)
L -- Newkirk 32 FG
I -- Jones 4 pass from No. Booker (Tovar kick)
L -- McLaughlin 1 run (Newkirk kick)
I -- Na. Booker 5 pass from No. Booker
Records -- Leland 8-2, 5-2; Independence 5-5, 4-3.