NOVATO -- The Encinal High football team's offense was held out of the end zone for four quarters. But the Jets needed just one play in overtime to score, then got a blocked extra point from their special teams in the extra session to pull out a 22-21 victory over host Novato on Nov. 10 in the first round of the North Coast Section Division III football playoffs.
Austin Ve'e, who earlier had a 62-yard fumble return for a touchdown to help the Jets tie the score in the fourth quarter, bolted 10 yards up the middle in overtime to give Encinal a 21-15 lead. Emily Rentschler's extra point gave the Jets a seven-point lead.
"Oh, yeah," Rentschler said when asked if she was nervous before her kick. "I try to separate the feelings from the kick because when you get really nervous, I don't kick very well. ... You definitely feel the pressure."
The PAT kick became important when Novato countered with a 10-yard touchdown run by Herve Changeux. The Hornets' attempt to send the game to a second overtime was stymied when Abraham Hill blocked the PAT attempt.
"I had to get through and put an arm up," Hill said.
The 11th-seeded Jets (6-5) fell behind 9-0 in the first quarter, but an 87-yard kickoff return by Corey Sails pulled them closer in the first quarter.
Novato (7-4), the sixth seed, pushed its lead to 15-7 late in the third quarter on a 1-yard run by Changeux but the Jets got even as Ve'e scooped up a fumbled snap and returned the ball to the end zone and Hill added the two-point conversion catch.
That -- and a Novato penalty that erased a potential winning field goal with 5.8 seconds left -- sent the game to overtime.
Encinal coach Joe Tenorio said his team will need a better effort on Nov. 17 when the Jets travel to Santa Rosa to face No. 3 Cardinal Newman (10-1).
"Our offense played horrible," Tenorio said. "We played horrible on special teams, turning the ball over. We've got to play better or we're going to lose by a lot."