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Football Scrimmage Sets Stage For Preseason Kickoff
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Junior quarterback Donovan Rozevink – one of only a couple of players wearing a numbered jersey on Friday night, makes the handoff to the Cougar runner as the offensive line starts the blocking scheme up front during scrimmage action against the visiting Gregori Jaguars on Aug. 12. Marg Jackson/The Times

Like most football players – or any high school athlete, for that matter – the Escalon Cougars relished the opportunity to do battle against an opponent on Friday night.

Instead of matching up against each other in practice, the players at the varsity, JV and freshman levels all had the chance to face off against the visiting Gregori Jaguars at Engel Field. The Aug. 12 scrimmage saw coaches at all three levels able to be on the field, offering instruction during the competition. No formal scores were kept.

The JV and freshman teams took the field first, each playing on half of the field. Each team had the opportunity for a set amount of time on offense and defense, alternating which side of the ball they were on with the Jaguars.

That scrimmage began at 5 p.m. and lasted until nearly 7 p.m.

Varsity took the field at 7 p.m. and, like their younger counterparts, had equal time on offense and defense to work on plays, set up blocking schemes, gauge the team speed and tenacity, and see what worked well and what still needs to be worked on.

Varsity head coach Andrew Beam noted that the varsity defensive corps stepped up big early, as Gregori was on offense first and failed to get a first down for the first 10 minutes or so of the scrimmage.

A good-sized crowd turned out on both sides of Engel Field, supporting both the home and visiting teams, and the snack bar was open for business, as was the Cougar merchandise booth.

The freshmen will be at home this week, for a Thursday night game, hosting the Enochs Eagles with a kickoff at 6 p.m.

The JV and varsity teams will go on a long road trip, traveling to Reno, Nevada for a clash with the Damonte Ranch High School Mustangs on Friday, Aug. 19. The JV game has a scheduled 4 p.m. start time with the varsity at 7 p.m.

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With some junior varsity Cougars gathered around him, assistant coach Mark Walden, wearing a ‘Tradition Never Graduates’ T-shirt, offers some instruction during the Friday night, Aug. 12 scrimmage against Gregori at Engel Field in Escalon. Marg Jackson/The Times
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The Escalon freshmen got their first taste of high school football on the big stage Friday night, competing against Gregori at Engel Field, taking part in a scrimmage where coaches were on the field to provide instruction and no scores were kept. Marg Jackson/The Times