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Cougars Host First Round Playoff Game On Friday
The first round of the playoffs gets under way Friday night, with the Trans-Valley League champion Escalon Cougars (5-0 league, 9-1 overall) hosting the number three seed from the Mother Lode League, the Amador Buffaloes.

Out of Sutter Creek, the royal blue and white Buffaloes are coached by Bill Baker and compiled a 3-2 league record, going 7-3 overall. They are coming off a 22-7 loss to Argonaut in their league finale on Nov. 5, while Escalon comes in off a 31-15 victory over host Modesto Christian.

"They have a couple of impressive wins and they were the only team in their league to beat Calaveras," Escalon head coach Mark Loureiro said, noting the Buffaloes can play a tough game.

"They are a run and pass team, they do a lot of Wing T sets for the run, a lot of shotgun and trips formation for the pass," Loureiro added. "They are a big team, with some big linemen, they're not overly fast but they are big."

Key players for the Amador squad include quarterback Clinton Tremelling, 6-2, 200; running back/defensive back Donovan Mason, 6-1, 210; running back/linebacker Josh Williams, 5-9, 240; running back Daniel Bean, 5-8, 185; top receiver Johnny Nichols, 5-10, 170 and top linemen Mike Lane, 6-4, 310; Brandon Pimentel, 6-2, 230 and Cody Green, 6-0, 265.

Winner of the first round contest gets to face off with the Summerville-Central Catholic winner in round two.

Gates at Engel Field will open at 6:30 p.m. and the kickoff for the playoff game is at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 12.

Ticket prices, set by the CIF, are $9 for adults, $5 for students with a student body card.

"We had a great season at 9-1 but now it's one and done," Loureiro said, noting that every team starts with a clean slate in the playoffs.

Amador, he added, plays a solid game and is a disciplined team.

"They don't make mistakes," he said.

With a TVL championship in hand and home field advantage for as long as they are in the playoffs, Loureiro is looking for some hometown support.

"We'd like the community to get behind us here," he said in asking people to fill the stands on Friday night. "The boys want to play in front of the crowd, they secured that home field throughout the playoffs and having your crowd behind you is part of the home field advantage."