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Domination Varsity Cougars Pound Orestimba In Homecoming Victory
Welcome back, Orestimba. How do you like the TVL now?

The Orestimba High Warriors may have gone 3-0 to start the Trans-Valley League campaign ... but that was before they came to Engel Field. On a stage that has seen many big games, Friday night's Homecoming was one of the biggest of all, the host Cougars staking claim to the inside track to the league title with a thorough thrashing of the visitors, 68-14.

The Cougars lost the coin toss, but that was about the only thing that didn't go their way on Friday night.

Orestimba kicked off and all junior Josh Miguel did was find the opening, slice through it, then work his way around every Warrior defender in his path, returning the kick 98 yards for the touchdown. Gino Franceschetti kicked the extra point and with just 13 seconds gone, it was a 7-0 Cougar lead.

"It means nothing without a stop!" head coach Mark Loureiro bellowed at his troops, clamping down on the sideline excitement.

They got that stop on the Warriors' first possession, with a pass picked off by Miguel - the first of his three interceptions on the night - to end an Orestimba drive.

The visitors did pull even on a long run of their own on their next possession, the quarterback keeper going 74 yards for the score. The kick was good and with 6:12 left in the first, the game was knotted at 7-7.

But any thought Orestimba may have had to be competitive evaporated in an unprecedented second quarter run that saw the Cougars put 34 unanswered points on the board and take a 41-7 lead at the half.

"No team of mine has ever scored 34 points in a quarter," Loureiro said. "There was about a six-minute period there where it was just phenomenal. We started playing at a different speed than they've (Orestimba) seen."

The huge, vocal crowed buoyed the Cougars, and they played right into the heart of the audience, giving them more to cheer about every time they touched the ball.

Escalon had six interceptions on the night and had a seventh called back on a roughing the passer call. They got contributions from the first group, the second group and everybody in between, with all players having a chance to get in for the Homecoming contest.

Prior to the game, this was seen as the marquee match up, most likely the battle for the TVL title, a battle of league unbeatens.

Orestimba just wasn't ready for the show.

"Our kids cam to play, they met the challenge ... they brought it," Loureiro said.

Key was Miguel's fast start, which put Orestimba in the early hole and got the crowd behind the Cougars early. Also crucial was a huge run by Adrian Cortes to get his team within striking distance right after the Warriors tied the score.

"He had that big run off tackle that set up a touchdown," agreed Loureiro.

There were blocked punts, fumble recoveries, and the interceptions, along with an Orestimba coach being ejected from the game.

"We hurt you in so many ways," Loureiro added. "Our special teams are playing great, our kick returners are great, Gino Franceschetti was 3-for-3 in passing and each one was a touchdown, he stepped up and had a nice presence about him, he's seeing the field really well right now."

Second quarter scores for Escalon were a 1-yard run by Cortes, following his previous 84-yard ramble; a 20-yard touchdown pass from Franceschetti to Brandon Shaw; a 26-yard touchdown pass from Franceschetti to James Hill, set up by a Shaw blocked punt; a 25-yard interception return by Miguel; and a 23-yard pass from Franceschetti to Shaw. Four of the five extra points by Franceschetti were good, giving Escalon 34 points in the quarter and the 41-7 halftime edge.

"They were shell shocked," Loureiro pointed out of Orestimba. "I think the environment had a lot to do with it and when things started going bad, it went bad fast for them.

"They weren't ready for center stage yet."

Escalon put 20 more points on the board in the third quarter, an 8-yard run by Hill coming after a fumble recovery, a 23-yard rush by Cortes with the point after good, then an 8-yard run by Joey Ratto after an interception from David Gonzales, the kick was good, putting the host team up 61-7.

Dylan Furtado went in from 3 yards out with the kick good in the fourth quarter for a 68-7 lead. Orestimba got one back on an 11-yard pass play with the point after good, making the final 68-14.

Loureiro said there were big performances from all, especially Miguel and Shaw, who seemed to be involved in almost everything. Miguel had three interceptions covering Orestimba's best receiver and ran one back for the score. Shaw pulled down a couple of touchdown receptions and blocked a punt to set up a third.

"Those two, they are both having great seasons and right now they are key to our success. We also got a major inside effort from Victor Carrillo with 11 tackles, Shane Silveira had 10, we got sacks from Tony Vincent and Nate Caton," explained Loureiro. "Matt Roberson came in off the bench in the second half and had seven tackles and an interception. Steve Hazen had four tackles and some big plays, Dylan Furtado did a nice job running the ball and got a touchdown."

Joey Camara ran hard at fullback in the second group, said Loureiro, while Chris Kowalski and Colton Smith did a solid job in the line.

Loureiro added the team was very appreciative of the support, with the home side of the stands filled to capacity.

"They got to see a good game," he said. "But never did I think in my wildest dreams that it would be like that."


This week features a road trip to Hughson, where Escalon will take on a Huskies team that has yet to win a contest this season. They are 0-3 in league play, 0-7 overall and have scored 38 points while allowing 246.

They lost 35-7 to Ripon on Oct. 15 and also dropped an earlier 20-6 decision to Hilmar. The black and gold Huskies are coached by Don Tetrick.

Records, however, don't matter when these two teams meet, said Loureiro.

"It's Escalon-Hughson, they haven't won a league game yet but I've seen enough football between these two schools to know that sometimes the best team doesn't win."

Hughson will be eager to stop the Cougars but will need a top effort from all to do it. Kickoff will be about 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 22 following the completion of the JV game.