With 2:37 remaining in the contest, officials put an end to Friday night’s JV football game in Escalon.
The JV Cougars, up 33-0, were hosting the River City Raiders and the game was called after the second scuffle broke out, this one coming on an extra point attempt following an Escalon touchdown.
The first was just a couple of players earlier, after an Escalon tackle of a River City player near the sideline. Some pushing and shoving ensued after that play and, following the Cougar touchdown, the shoving escalated and one Cougar player had his helmet knocked off his head in the melee.
That was when the referees separated all the players and decided to call the contest, barring any further contact between the teams except for the traditional handshake at the end.
“I was glad that it got called,” admitted first-year JV head coach Brant Rose. “I thought River City also made a great decision to get their JV team on the bus and leave, they didn’t hang around for the varsity game; that gave me some peace of mind.”
Rose said it appeared the frustration of being shut out and not being able to get anything going against the Cougars boiled over for the Raiders.
“They’re not used to teams running the ball at them all night,” Rose noted, with the Sacramento area team unable to keep the Wing-T offense under control.
Escalon had a 13-0 lead at the half and then continued to punish the visitors as the game wore on.
Scoring for the JV Cougars were E.J. Lewis on a one-yard run with Miguel Sandoval adding the extra point; Shane Campbell on a 17-yard run for the 13-0 edge.
Second half scoring included J.P Lial on a 42-yard run, kick good; Lewis on a 4-yard plunge, kick good; and Aidan Krieger on an explosive 95-yard run for the final score.
As the teams set up for the extra point attempt, that’s when the second scuffle broke out, ending the game without the point after even being tried, making it a 33-0 final in Escalon’s favor.
“The helmet got knocked off Chase Pacheco and chaos ensued,” said Rose.
Luckily, the teams were separated before anyone got hurt.
Even though the scuffles and escalating tension between the teams put a damper on the night, it didn’t overshadow what was a total team effort by the JV squad.
“This was the first time, offensively, we got to see the Wing-T really work, we were able to establish it,” Rose said. “They (River City) can score quickly so we knew our best defense was to go on slow, methodical drives that would eat up the clock.”
The team did that better than they have at any time so far this season and it was an effective weapon against the visiting Raiders.
Defensively, Rose said the JV team also had a solid night.
“I was proud of our kids, they bent but didn’t break. River City moved the ball but we stopped them once inside the ten, we had an interception, we just didn’t give up the big play,” the coach explained.
With both aspects of the game working, the JV team wrapped up their preseason campaign with a win, improving to 4-0.
This week, Escalon has a bye and then will open up Trans-Valley League play by hosting Hilmar on Friday, Sept. 21.
Another game for Escalon’s youngest team saw the freshmen travel to face off with River City on Thursday, Sept. 6. Down by 12 points at halftime, the squad could not find a way to get points on the board and also gave up a few more scores in the second half, falling by a 31-0 final.
Head coach Joey Costa pointed to the play of defensive back Cameron Cox as being solid, with a pair of interceptions in the contest. He also said quarterback/safety Josh Miller continues to play well, seeing plenty of action on both sides of the ball.
Unlike their JV and varsity counterparts, the freshmen do not have a bye this week. They will be on the road, playing at Gregori at 3:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 14.