By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Cougars Steamroll Host Bruins, 56-0
Though it was Riverbank's senior night, some of those seniors recognized did not suit up for the game ... and Escalon jumped on the host Bruins, roughing them up in a 56-0 Trans-Valley League football contest on Friday night.

It was a mismatch from the start, with the Cougars able to move the ball quickly and efficiently, the Bruins really unable to stop the attack at any level. Undermanned, the Riverbank squad fought hard, but had no answer for the balanced - and relentless - Cougars.

"We got everybody in on this onslaught," agreed coach Mark Loureiro. "The first half we pretty much scored at will."

It also didn't take very long.

Escalon kicked off but stopped Riverbank short and the Cougars got great field position to start.

Steve Silva went in from 3 yards out and the kick after by Jason Diniz was good, putting Escalon up 7-0 with 8:45 to play.

Escalon's second possession ended with an 8-yard run by Josh Miguel, the point after by Diniz for a 14-0 lead just over two minutes later. Riverbank looked poised to start a drive, with a nice midfield reception and a solid rush, but a fumble gobbled up by Derrick DeFreitas put the ball back in Escalon hands.

The turnover turned in to a touchdown, Diniz pulling down a 53-yard pass from quarterback Spencer Franceschetti over the defender, nearly falling, regaining his footing and sprinting into the end zone. He added the point after and it was 21-0 with 2:46 left in the first.

With 33 seconds left, Diniz went in from 14 yards out on the handoff from Franceschetti, then added the point after for a 28-0 edge.

"We rested some key kids and got some other kids valuable playing time," Loureiro said of subbing in frequently and letting the second group play nearly the entire second half. Two more touchdowns in the second quarter - a 38 yard-run by Silva and a 6-yard run by senior Tym Blair - with the extra points by Diniz, made it 42-0. Coming out for the second half, Escalon received the kickoff and Miguel ran it back 89 yards for the score. Diniz kicked the extra point, it was 49-0 and at that point, officials decided to go with a running clock.

"They played hard," Loureiro said of the host Bruins. "Coach (Aaron) Thurman is taking over a program that has been in disarray the last few years, he's a hard working guy and is doing some good things, but it will take some time."

Final touchdown of the night for Escalon came with 8:00 left in the fourth, Michael Sage taking it in from 4 yards out for his first of the season. The kick was good and it was a 56-0 rout.

"Michael is a senior, he did a good job going in and scoring, Mikey Simoes also did a good job running the ball late, as did Mark Ceniceros and Zac Baker.

We got good blocks from Brandon Barnett, Robbie Leal, Jacob Wallace, Adam Jefferson and Brent Nessel."

Defensively, Nick Largent of the first group led the team in tackles with nine, Adrian Cortes had seven and Cordero Bryand paced the second group with five, while Jon Acosta, Steve Martinez, and the Hughes brothers, Aaron and James, got high marks as well.

"It was good to see those kids perform," Loureiro said.

This week, the Cougars travel to Modesto Christian for a match up of the top two teams in the league, both 3-0