Wrapping up the season on a successful note, both the Escalon JV and freshman football teams put wins on the books this week.
For the JV boys, they won at home, defeating Livingston while the freshmen traveled for a non-league game at Rio Vista.
It was a decisive 34-6 victory for the junior varsity squad, ending the campaign with the satisfying win over the visiting Wolves.
They had a 14-0 lead after the first quarter, with a 45-yard run from Nathan Krieger and a 37-yard run by Talan Reider; Reider adding the extra point after each touchdown.
Josh Graham found the end zone on a 2-yard run in the second quarter, Reider added the point after to make it 21-0. Before half, Krieger found the end zone again, this time on an explosive 96-yard run. With the extra point, it was a 28-0 advantage.
Livingston did get into the end zone on a 2-yard run but missed the extra point, the visitors trailing 28-6 at halftime.
“The players responded strong after last week’s disappointing performance,” said head coach Brant Rose. “We put together a complete game for four quarters against Livingston; rushing for over 300 yards on offense, blocking a punt, and holding Livingston to only one score.”
Neither team scored coming out of the locker room for the third quarter. Escalon did find the end zone a final time in the fourth, Graham on a 6-yard run. The point after was no good; but the final was a 34-6 victory for the host JV Cougars.
“We looked more like the team we have shown to be at our best moments,” added Rose.
With the win, the JV boys evened their overall record at 5-5 and they went 1-3 in the Trans-Valley League.
“Our overall record should be kept in perspective to reflect the tough schedule we faced this season,” Rose said. “Two of our losses came from opponents – Manteca, Sonora – that finished with records of 9-1 and Hilmar finished the season 10-0. We believe this is another group of tough Escalon players that will win a lot of games at the varsity level.”
Unable to secure a game with league foe Livingston, the youngest Cougars instead went on the road to Rio Vista on Thursday night, Oct. 28. They played a solid, all-around game and came home with a 21-8 victory, according to head coach Joey Costa. He praised the efforts of school personnel in working out the opportunity for the freshmen to get one last game in this season.
Two of the touchdowns on Thursday night came via the pass and one was a rushing touchdown.
Jacob Augusto got the ball into the end zone each time for the freshmen, pulling in passes of 5 and 20 yards, and running one in from 12 yards out. He also came up with an interception on defense.
“Andrew Silva was 3-for-3 in kicking the extra points,” Costa said, adding that Silva was 4-for-4 in his extra point attempts for the season. “Quarterback Christian Becerra had a big completion late.”
Rio Vista was driving late in the game but fumbled and Escalon recovered, going on a 92-yard drive that included a big first down pass from Becerra to Preston Berhorst during the drive.
“We played pretty well defensively,” added Costa.
The Cougars did have to punt the ball five times and Costa said Hayden McPherson did a good job handling those duties.
“I’m proud of the way we finished,” Costa summarized. “We were more competitive and I’m thankful we have the administration that backs us and helps us get those games.”
The team did get to play a full 10-game slate and ended with an overall 2-8 record.
“A lot of those games we were in,” Costa said of seeing his team battle. “We got better in the second half of the season and this game especially, defensively, we showed up.”