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Cougar JV, Freshman Football Teams Top Ripon
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JP Lial, shown here in earlier season action, was a standout performer for the Escalon JV football team in a road win at Ripon. Marg Jackson/The Times

Both the junior varsity and freshmen came away from their Trans-Valley League battles with victories this week, the JV at Ripon and the freshmen hosting the Indians at Engel Field.

For the JV boys, head coach Brant Rose said it was a complete performance, as his squad pinned a 35-0 loss on the host Ripon team on Friday night.

“For us to go out there and do that was pretty satisfying,” Rose said of shutting out Ripon. “That’s not an easy Ripon team, it was a quality opponent and that win gave us the confidence we needed to realize we are one of the top teams in the league.”

Escalon had steady scoring, with a single touchdown in the first, second and fourth quarters, two touchdowns in the third.

JP Lial got them on the board with a 10 yard run in the first quarter with the kick good by Andres Beltran. Tyler Medina hit Lial with a 36 yard touchdown pass in the second, kick good, for a 14-0 halftime lead.

In the third quarter, Lial got into the end zone on touchdown runs of 4 and 30 yards, the kick was good each tine and Luis Garcia scored on a 2 yard run in the fourth, kick good by Beltran to round out the scoring.

Lial had 129 yards rushing on the night as well as the 36-yard reception.

“He had a big game on both sides of the ball,” Rose said of Lial.

The team itself was also efficient.

“We did throw one interception and punted one time, but other than that, we scored on every possession,” explained Rose.

Ripon had just 30 total yards of offense while Escalon had 302 total yards.

Nathan Chavez had a fumble recovery that he returned for 30 yards to set up a score and Owen Nash and Caden Gonsalves both pulled down an interception.

“This was a big win for us,” Rose added. “It sends a message to our last two opponents.”

Escalon will be on the road to face off with the Livingston Wolves on Friday, Oct. 25 at 5 p.m., then close out the season with a game at home against Hughson on Nov. 1.



The second win in a row for Escalon’s youngest football players saw them craft a home victory on Thursday night. The freshmen upended Ripon in a 34-8 decision.

“We had a 21-0 lead at the half and it was a real physical game,” said head coach Joey Costa. “We ran the ball well, we got everybody in and defensively, it was our best game.”

Quarterback Javier Gutierrez notched a pair of scores, one on a quarterback sneak on offense, the other on a blocked punt, scoop and score on defense. Ryker Peters returned the second half kickoff for a touchdown. Other scores came from Ayden Wilson and Christian Rowe.

“Ayden ran hard for us and Javier Gutierrez was four of five on the point after touchdowns,” said Costa. “Ripon scored late in the game.”

Defensive standouts for the freshmen included Peters, Wilson, Gutierrez, Seth Britton, Sammy Hinojosa and Hunter Budd.

“We’ve been playing well for the last month,” Costa added, noting that it’s nice for the team to cash in with a couple of wins. “The kids are starting to believe.”

The freshmen host Livingston on Thursday, Oct. 24 with a 6 p.m. kickoff.