Escalon travels to Oakdale – just a few miles to the east – for a highly anticipated Friday night football match up on Sept. 15.
“I think everybody’s really excited; these are two schools that run the same defense and a similar offense,” Cougar head coach Andrew Beam said. “In the 1990s and early 2000s, Oakdale and Escalon really dominated their divisions and I think it’s really going to be a great atmosphere.”
Escalon comes in with a 3-1 preseason record; this will be the final game in their preseason schedule. Next week, they have a bye before starting Trans-Valley League play on Sept. 29 at Hughson.
The last time Oakdale and Escalon met up, it was also on Oakdale’s turf, during the COVID year when there were only a handful of games played.
“They won it, 38-35 and it was one of the most fun games I’ve ever been a part of,” Beam said.
The storied football programs of both schools provide the backdrop; there likely will be a huge crowd turning out for the contest.
“We are calling it a ‘white out’ and we’re encouraging our fans to wear white,” Beam said. “It will just have a hometown feel.”
Oakdale is by far the closest game for Escalon, as their preseason travel has already had them in Merced, Clovis, Windsor and San Ramon. They started out with three straight road wins, but ran into a buzzsaw in San Ramon on Sept. 8, falling to the Grizzlies, 42-21.
“There’s a sense of urgency,” Beam admitted. “We don’t want to go into a bye week losing two in a row. The boys will be excited and hungry for a win.”
Varsity kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.