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Gridders Roll Over Capital Christian
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Taking the Cougars by surprise, host Capital Christian scored on their first play of the game Friday night.

But the quick strike was one that woke the Cougars up and they went on to post an easy 67-18 victory in the non-league contest.

"It was kind of a weird game," admitted coach Mark Loureiro. "They scored first, their wide receiver made a nice catch, some athletic moves and they scored. But we didn't panic."

Capital Christian did not add the point after so the lead was just 6-0 as the Cougars went to work. They had a 14-6 lead by the end of the first quarter, with Justin Chandley scoring from 3 and 6 yards out, Chris Diniz coming on to add the extra point after each touchdown.

"We kind of scored at will," Loureiro noted of the large scoring differential by night's end.

Second quarter action saw quarterback Andrew Beam hook up with Steve Gentry on an 18-yard pass play for a touchdown. The kick went wide but the Cougars had a 20-6 lead.

"Then on our next possession, we fumbled and Capital Christian returned it 35 yards for the touchdown," Loureiro said.

The kick failed but the host team edged a little closer, 20-12.

Utilizing a number of players, the Cougars got three more scores before halftime to put the game out of reach.

Marcus Savage went in from a yard out with Diniz adding the kick, Chandley converted on a 7-yard run, the kick failed but Escalon was up 33-12.

Then to close out the half, Anthony Suniga returned an interception 99 yards for the score, Diniz putting the extra point through the uprights for the 40-12 advantage.

"They were knocking on the door," Loureiro said of the Capital Christian drive that ended with the Suniga interception.

Escalon got the ball in the second half and scored on their opening drive, Savage again finding the end zone after a 6-yard run. The kick failed. Gus Arzac got into the mix with a 2-yard plunge in the third quarter, the kick was good and the visiting Cougars went into the final quarter with a 53-12 lead.

In the fourth quarter, Jason Chandley scored on a 3-yard run with Diniz adding the kick to make it 60-12.

Capital Christian got their final touchdown of the night on another Cougar turnover, recovering the fumble and going 80 yards for the score. The kick again failed, with the score 60-18.

Final touchdown of the night for Escalon came on a 46-yard run by A.J. Kinest, the kick was good for the 67-18 finale.

"Justin Chandley played only in the first half but he had 16 carries for 147 yards and three touchdowns," said Loureiro. "Marcus Savage ran well, he had seven carries for 58 yards and two touchdowns."

Second group leaders were Vince Rocha, six carries for 42 yards; Jordan Ramirez, three carries for 40 yards.

Quarterback Andrew Beam had another solid night, five completions on six attempts for 103 yards with a touchdown.

"Physically we just outmanned them," Loureiro said.

Gentry had two catches for 58 yards and a touchdown on the night to lead the receiving corps.

"We held them to minus 31 yards rushing in 16 attempts," Loureiro noted of the defense. "And our secondary played well, Capital Christian had a good quarterback and a couple of good runners, they had six completions for 108 yards."

The long trip to Sacramento was followed by an equally long drawn out game, said Loureiro, but the Cougars did come away with the win and with no injuries.

Leading tackler was Mike Sawyer, seven tackles and one sack; Gentry added six tackles and two sacks; Suniga had the interception and Sean O'Neill had a fumble recovery.

"We were sluggish a little early but it was just a good overall ball game," said Loureiro. "We got a lot of kids a lot of playing time but we are now through the easy part of our schedule and now we need to step it up."

The varsity travels to Angels Camp for a Friday night non-league game with Bret Harte.