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Varsity Cougars Come Up Big In Win Over Central Valley
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After a less than satisfactory week of practice, Escalon's varsity Cougars came out with a more than satisfactory effort on Friday night, stunning the Central Valley Hawks of the Valley Oak League, 34-7.

The thumping was thorough; the visiting Hawks were held scoreless through three quarters, scoring only on a Cougar miscue in the fourth.

"We didn't practice very well all week and I was really concerned," admitted head coach Mark Loureiro. "But we came out and played some smashmouth football, it was like the football of old and it was a convincing win on both sides of the ball."

Statistics tell the story; Escalon rolled up 360 yards of offense to Central Valley's 194 and the Cougars ran over them for 347 yards on the ground.

"Our offensive line had a great push all night," Loureiro agreed. "Jesus Duran ran really well for us and we had a real balanced rushing attack, Jake Caton led us with six carries for 87 yards, Jesus had 11 carries for 84 yards and Nick Aprile rushed eight times for 65 yards. Rocky Overturf and Jake Loureiro had some good yardage, too."

Quarterback Aprile also gave kudos to the offensive line, a group he said doesn't get nearly the credit they deserve.

"The offensive line did a great job, made a lot of holes for us to run through and they don't get enough credit," he said.

Defensively, Aprile added, the Cougars knew what they had to do to contain Central Valley.

"We had to make sure we didn't give up the big play, we had to take that away from them," he said.

Central Valley threw the ball 38 times, completing 19 passes for 153 yards, but they never found the end zone on the offensive side of the ball. They scored on a fumble recovery with about nine minutes left in the game, avoiding the shutout.

"They like to spread the ball round so we worked a lot on the secondary," Jake Caton said of preparing for the Hawks. "We had to bounce back from that loss (to Patterson in week two) and they play in a big time league, the Valley Oak League, it was nice to beat a team from there and be back in the win column."

Aprile got the Cougars on the board in the first quarter, taking the ball in on a keeper from 6 yards out. With the point after from Duran, it was 7-0 Escalon.

Building up a 20-0 lead by the half, second quarter scores came from Duran on a 2-yard run and Caton on a 34-yard scamper. Duran tacked on one of two extra points for the 20-0 lead.