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Varsity Cougars Prevail In 49-6 Win Over Kennedy
Friday's season opener at Escalon High may not have been the prettiest game the Cougars have ever played ... but it was effective nonetheless.

Escalon's varsity football team upended visiting Kennedy High out of Sacramento by a final of 49-6, keeping the visitors off the scoreboard until late in the fourth quarter.

"It was good to go out and get that first win and we got a lot of kids involved in the game," said head coach Mark Loureiro.

Acknowledging that the team has some problems to work on, Loureiro said it was good to have a chance to see them at game speed.

"That's what preseason is about," the coach said of finding and correcting mistakes. "We came out on the right side of the score."

Escalon kicked off to start the contest and Kennedy was able to keep the ball for a couple of possessions before punting it away. But they got it right back on the punt return, recovering a fumble.

The defense held, though, and the Cougars got it back on another Kennedy punt, this time holding on to the ball. A 30-yard run by Jesus Duran got the Cougars on the move and Jake Caton had the first of his three touchdowns on the night soon thereafter, going in from 10 yards out with 5:39 to go in the first quarter. Duran added the point after to make it 7-0.

Another quick Kennedy possession was followed by a Cougar scoring drive, helped out by a big catch from Caton and a 1-yard rush from Izzy Ruiz for the score. Duran tacked on the point after, making it 14-0 with 3:35 to go in the first.

Escalon's defense continued to do a good job frustrating the Kennedy Cougars, allowing them little movement on the field. Kennedy had to punt again and Escalon made it a 21-0 game with just a couple of ticks left on the first quarter clock when Caton scored on a 10-yard run and Duran added the point after.

"Jake had a big night for us, he had four carries for 46 yards and three touchdowns, he also had two catches for 25 yards," Loureiro said. "Rocky Overturf had three carries for 75 yards and Izzy Ruiz had 10 carries for 59 yards and one touchdown."

Kennedy had the ball to start the second quarter and mounted a little drive, briefly considered going for it on a fourth and four but opted to punt it away and Escalon took over at the 40-yard line. From there, they went on a nearly three-minute drive capped by a 23-yard scoring run from Caton. With the kick by Duran, it was 28-0.

The next Kennedy drive was stopped short by a Nick Williamson interception and the teams then traded a couple of possessions - with an Escalon fumble thrown in - before the Cougars blocked a Kennedy punt and Nick Aprile recovered it, taking it in from 17 yards out. Duran added the point after, for a 35-0 lead at the half.

With the big lead, Loureiro started subbing in players, with Travis Hill taking over for Aprile at the quarterback slot to start the second half. Overturf sparked the squad early with a huge run and Dan Thompson scored on an 8-yard run after that, Duran putting the point after through for a 42-0 lead.