Closing out the season in style, the Escalon JV football team shut out visiting Lathrop 47-0 on Friday night, April 16.
The night before, it was the freshmen getting the chance to play, facing off with the JV team from Downey and ultimately falling by a 38-12 final.
Ryker Peters scored on a six-yard run with the PAT by Javier Gutierrez good for an early 7-0 lead. Quarterback Donovan Rozevink went in from a yard out later in the quarter, kick good, to go up 14-0 and a 3-yard run by Peters, kick good, made it 21-0 at the end of the first quarter.
The scoring barrage continued in the second with a 6-yard run from Rozevink, PAT good, for a 28-0 edge.
Cody Parker then advanced an Escalon fumble recovery for a 75-yard touchdown run and the point after was good, extending the JV Cougar lead to 35-0.
Rounding out the first half scoring was Talan Reider on a 45-yard run. The point after attempt was no good but it was a 41-0 lead.
There was no scoring in the third quarter, but Sawyer Mello found the end zone after a 14-yard run in the fourth. The point after attempt was blocked, but the JV team earned the 47-0 shutout win.
“Sierra High announced they folded their JV team two weeks ago and we were thankful Lathrop High was available to fill in to allow our players one final game,” said head coach Brant Rose. “It was a nice victory to close out this brief spring season, with many players contributing on both sides of the ball. Overall, our team was thrilled to be able to have the opportunity to play three games this spring with a 2-1 record, closing with two consecutive wins; one over our rival Ripon. For these underclassmen, the chance to gain game experience will pay off tremendously when we return in a short few months.”
In their only official game of the season, the freshmen were defeated by Downey, 38-12.
Both of Escalon’s touchdowns came on the ground, one by Nate Krieger and one by Josh Graham.
“This year has been a unique year,” admitted head coach Joey Costa, offering thanks to the coaching corps and school officials that worked hard to ensure the freshmen did get to play a game. “We had 15 kids playing Thursday night, six of them had never played football before and we were going against Downey’s JV team.”
Costa said the game, like the season, had a lot of ebbs and flows and he is proud of the effort and determination his team showed.
“Like I told the kids, it’s a process, it’s not about winning or losing freshman and JV games, it’s about being part of a legacy.”
Lessons learned at the lower levels, he said, hopefully translate to when the players take the field as members of the varsity team, instilling the pride and tradition of Cougar football in them.
The coach said they had a couple more opportunities to score on Thursday night but just couldn’t quite get in, making the final score a little more lopsided than the actual game.
“I think they’re all excited about playing next year,” Costa said.