By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Defeat Marysville, 49-7 - First Round Game In Cougar Win Column
With a running clock for the second half, Escalon's opening round football playoff game went by faster than usual, and while it was a big win for the Cougars, it wasn't that much of a challenge.

"Being the number one seed, we drew the bottom team," head coach Mark Loureiro noted. "What this game did was allow us a chance to get a feel for the playoffs, get the kinks out, we needed to execute well, we did that and we got out of there healthy."

Escalon was a 49-7 winner over No. 16 seed Marysville in the Division IV opener on Nov. 11, running out to a 42-0 halftime lead that prompted officials to offer the running clock, allowed this year in the second half if the point differential is at least 35.

Escalon got touchdowns from six different players in the victory, started off by Josh Miguel on a 50-yard run on the first play from scrimmage after the Cougars got the ball on a Marysville punt. With Gino Franceschetti adding the kick for the point after, it was 7-0 with 10:04 to go in the first quarter.

Matt Roberson got touchdown number two, plowing in from 2 yards out, with the extra point from Franceschetti to make it 14-0.

In the second quarter, Joey Ratto went in from 5 yards out with the kick after good, then quarterback Franceschetti found junior Alec Von Alvensleben on a nice crossing pattern, good for a 25-yard scoring strike. The point after was good. Another junior, Alex Loureiro, pulled in a 35-yard pass from Franceschetti to add to the point total and Roberson scored his second touchdown of the game late in the first half, with all the point after kicks good, for a 42-0 halftime advantage.

In the third quarter, the score came from an unlikely source, as defensive standout Shane Silveira found himself scooping up a loose ball - on a fumble caused by Johnathon Costa, ripping it from the Marysville ball carrier - and rumbling 55 yards to the end zone.

"I was looking back to see if there was anyone behind me," Silveira said of getting the ball and finding an open field ahead. "It was amazing."

He also took some good-natured ribbing from his teammates and coaches about needing some oxygen after the run, not having sprinted that far down the field since his youth football days.

"That was my first time getting the ball at the varsity level," he agreed, grinning.

Marysville avoided the shutout with a late score, going on a fourth quarter drive that ultimately resulted in a quarterback keeper, a 1-yard plunge to make the final 49-7.

The running clock didn't allow Escalon's seconds and thirds to get as much playing time as Loureiro would have liked, but everyone did see some action on the field.

"I'm just happy that we won," said Ratto, who had some nice carries and a touchdown on the night.

Fellow senior Jake Hood said the first round game wasn't too tough, but everyone knows they need to prepare even harder for round two.

"We'll have a pretty tough game, a good challenge," he said of facing Sonora. "We'll just put our heads down, go get what's ahead of us."

For the game, Escalon had 10 first downs and Marysville had six, with the Cougars piling up 326 total yards to 123 for the visiting Indians. Marysville rushed 40 times for 108 yards and completed 3-of-7 pass attempts for 15 yards, with one interception, pulled down by Ratto. Escalon had 26 rushing plays for 151 yards and Franceschetti completed 7-of-8 pass attempts for 175 yards.

Defensively, Gilberto Mancilla had seven tackles, followed by Tony Vincent with six and Silveira with five tackles, one sack and one fumble recovery.

"Our defense played very well," Loureiro noted. "I think Marysville came in knowing they were over their head and we're very happy about the win."

Senior Ian Fitzgerald said the team will stay focused this week.

"We need to fix a couple of things, work on some plays," he said.

It was a sentiment his coach also pointed out to the team in their post-game victory huddle on Friday, knowing Sonora is up next.

"Don't think just showing up is going to get the job done," Loureiro told the players, noting that Sonora will pose a fierce challenge. "If you want to go further (in the playoffs) you've got to dedicate yourself."