Battling through a scoreless first half, the JV Cougars ultimately captured a 7-3 football win on the road Friday night, Oct. 25.
They traveled to Livingston to face off with a determined Wolves team and neither side could sustain much offensive momentum early on.
Escalon head JV coach Brant Rose said his team did get several turnovers but couldn’t seem to make the host team pay for their mistakes.
“Preston Ball forced a fumble on their first possession, they fumbled on a punt return, they fumbled on a kickoff return, Tyler Medina had an interception,” Rose noted of the Wolves’ miscues.
On the other hand, the JV Cougars had some problems of their own but, again, the opposition didn’t make them pay.
“We gave up an interception and we attempted two field goals and missed them both,” Rose explained.
With neither team scoring in the first half, the Cougars and Wolves were knotted 0-0 headed into the third quarter. Host Livingston got on the board first, scoring on a 36-yard field goal to go up 3-0.
Escalon finally got on the board in the fourth quarter, Austin Roberts going in from a yard out and Andres Beltran sending the point after attempt through the uprights for the 7-3 lead. That would account for all the scoring in the contest.
“They were big and physical and pretty well prepared,” Rose said of the Livingston team. “We struggled offensively for the most part in the first half and couldn’t sustain any drives. We definitely had the ball for most of the game, we just couldn’t get much of anything going.”
The JV team also lost leading rusher JP Lial early in the second quarter to injury.
“It was his sixth carry of the game but he got hurt and his season is over,” Rose said.
In his absence, Austin Roberts stepped up to fill the role, rushing 21 times for 95 yards and scoring the one Cougar touchdown that made the difference in the game.
“It’s better to win an ugly game than lose an ugly game,” Rose added.
This week, the team welcomes in Hughson for the season finale, set for a 5 p.m. kickoff on Friday night, Nov. 1 at Engel Field.
“They are as tough a team as we will see,” said Rose. “They are currently 8-1.”
Locking down their third win in a row, it was a 35-6 decision for the freshman football team on Thursday night, Oct. 24. The frosh boys welcomed in Livingston for the contest, their final game at home.
Head coach Joey Costa said the team got touchdowns from three different players in the home field victory.
“Colton Page scored two touchdowns and had a nice offensive game for us,” Costa said. “Javier Gutierrez, our quarterback, scored two touchdowns and Ryker Peters scored one.”
The team was also 5-for-5 in extra point attempts, with Gutierrez handling the kicking duties.
Costa said he is proud of the resolve the team has shown this season – after starting 0-5, they have put three straight wins on the books.
“It would have been very easy to just lay it down and go 0-9,” the coach said. “But I appreciate their spirit, when we were 0-5 we just weren’t seeing the results even though we were playing well and we were right there. Now, things have started to break our way.”
The team hit the road for a Wednesday, Oct. 30 game at Hughson – moved up a day due to the Halloween observance on Thursday, Oct. 31.