Another dominating second half performance has put the Escalon Cougars into the state Division 4A title game.
A long road trip to Chico saw the varsity football team and their fans come away happy, as Escalon nailed down a 41-17 decision over the host Pleasant Valley Vikings. The Saturday, Dec. 7 contest featured a 6 p.m. kickoff and, despite predictions of rain throughout the evening, the bad weather held off during the contest. It rained heavily in the morning but skies cleared for the game, with a light mist starting to fall just after the NorCal plaque presentation.
City officials announced Sunday that in light of the team moving on to the State Title Division 4A game, the Christmas on Main event will be moved to Sunday, Dec. 15. Originally scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 14, the annual holiday celebration will be hosted instead on Sunday this year so as not to conflict with those wanting to attend the state game. Mayor Robert Swift said they also hope to have the Cougar football team and cheerleaders take part in the parade so the community can salute them for their success this season. Booths downtown will open at 3 p.m. on Dec. 15 with the holiday light parade at 5:30 p.m. and Santa arriving at 6 p.m.
Meanwhile, on the football field, the celebration started for Escalon as they put distance between themselves and the Vikings in the second half.
Head coach Andrew Beam said his team has been approaching the post season with one mantra in mind: “One more game.”
After taking down Hughson, Sonora and Hilmar to earn the Sac-Joaquin Section Division 6 title, the Cougars were rewarded with the NorCal game opposite the Chico-based school. They met in the Division 4A Northern California regionals and the Cougar fans traveled well, bringing plenty of vocal and emotional support.
Touchdowns from Kaden Christensen (2), Colton Panero (2), Kaidence Trejo and Luke Anderson – and five of six extra points from Brayan Barrientos – put the 41 points on the board for Escalon.
Look for the full story and additional photos in the Wednesday, Dec. 11 issue of The Times.