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Cougars Unleash Offense Victory Over Linden, 62-7
After winning the toss, Escalon did what it typically does, defer and kick off.

Some 44 seconds later, they were in the end zone.

Escalon hammered Linden, 62-7, on Friday night at Engel Field, with a Travis James fumble recovery on the first play from scrimmage giving the Cougars the ball. Josh Miguel then ran it in from 6 yards out and Gino Franceschetti added the kick for the extra point to make it 7-0 with 11:16 to play in the first quarter.

It was a harbinger of how the evening was going to go, with the Cougars just bringing too many weapons to the field for Linden to handle.

"You could tell, the kids had a different look in their eyes," head coach Mark Loureiro said of Friday's effort when compared to the opening week. "They were ready to play. The way we jumped on them (Linden) in the first quarter, put 21 points on the board ... we scored 48 unanswered points with our first unit."

First quarter touchdowns came from Miguel, the 6-yard run and a 34-yard touchdown reception from Franceschetti, with Matt Roberson also converting on a 1-yard run. Franceschetti added the points after. Second quarter scoring saw Roberson scoring from 18 yards out (kick good), Joey Ratto on an 8-yard run (kick good) and then a 32-yard pass from Franceschetti to Ratto (kick good) and capping off the first half with a 5-yard run by Miguel (kick failed). It all meant a 48-0 halftime lead.

"We saw a lot of great things, 665 total yards of offense, we have never done that in the history of the school," Loureiro added.

The second unit got valuable playing time in the second half and made the most of it, Dylan Furtado scoring on a 7-yard run (kick good) and then breaking free for a 52-yard touchdown in the final quarter, with the kick good.

"We had three kids over 100 yards rushing," said Loureiro.

Furtado led the way with 123 yards on seven carries and two scores. Miguel had 101 yards rushing and the catch for three total scores, Roberson was just a little over 100 yards with two scores as well. Phil Kimble played a solid game at quarterback in the second half and also gaining some valuable yards up the middle was David Gonzales.

Leading tacklers were Ian Fitzgerald, six tackles and a fumble recovery and Tony Vincent with a half dozen tackles.

"Our second unit, they moved the ball and that was great for their confidence, to go down and score twice," noted the coach. "That just adds to our depth."

The Cougars had 495 rushing yards - thanks to some great blocking up front - and 170 yards passing on six completions in eight attempts. They had 24 first downs on the night.

Linden scored a single touchdown in the third quarter on an 85-yard run.

"It felt great, with my line blocking," Furtado said of getting into the end zone twice.

The second run, from midfield, was a little tougher, but still just as satisfying, even though Furtado admitted to almost running out of gas.

"It was close, but from the support of the team and the fans, I did anything to keep going, they gave me the spark," he said.

Gonzales said he was pleased with the overall effort of the team.

"I think we all did really good but we still need to keep trying harder," he said.

Kimble was happy to have his chance to run the team from under center.

"I love throwing the ball," he said. "I look forward to going in and we just have a great second unit. I feel really comfortable."

This week, the team will face its biggest test in traveling to take on 3-0 Patterson, the only team that beat them last year.

"It's a game that, win or lose, is going to make us better," Loureiro said. "We'll find out what we're made of ... we have to get 46 guys focused on the game goal."

Varsity kickoff will be about 7 p.m. in Patterson.