Two touchdowns by visiting Hilmar in the first quarter set the tone on Friday night, as the Yellowjackets defeated the host Escalon JV Cougars by a 42-12 final.
“We were in a winnable football game at halftime,” said Escalon JV head coach Brant Rose.
Hilmar scored on a 6-yard run and a 2-yard run in the first quarter, each time with the kick good to go up 14-0. A 17-yard pass completion from Jagger Scott to Nate Krieger got the JV Cougars into the end zone in the second quarter. The point after attempt was no good, but the home team trimmed the deficit to 14-6.
“They then converted a major third down that led to their score,” Rose said of the Hilmar team getting a touchdown on a 1-yard rush, the kick was good, and they had a 21-6 advantage at the half.
“We knew they got the ball to start the second so we had to get a stop,” Rose said of what the team had to do to get back into the contest in the second half.
Unfortunately for the Cougars and their fans, Hilmar scored on that opening second half drive on a 16-yard rushing play, the point after was good for the 28-6 lead.
“You can’t dig a hole like that against Hilmar,” Rose said. “The last couple of games, against Hughson and Hilmar, we have had really poor starts and they are the premier TVL JV teams so it’s hard to come back.”
Another Hilmar score made it 35-6 before Escalon got a 1-yard rushing touchdown from Josh Graham to make it 35-12. They tried the 2-point attempt but were stopped. Krieger set up the score with a 50-plus yard run, getting the ball down inside the 10.
A late fourth quarter score by Hilmar made the final 42-12.
“That second half, it just got away from us, we weren’t getting any stops,” Rose said.
His team also had three turnovers in the first half that hurt; mistakes they will have to clean up to be successful, the coach noted.
This week they will be at home on Thursday night, Oct. 7, hosting Manteca with kickoff following the conclusion of the freshman contest.
It was a 30-6 road loss at Hilmar on Thursday night, Sept. 30 for the Cougar freshmen on the football field.
“We reverted back to where we were a few weeks ago,” said coach Joey Costa, who said the team didn’t match the strong effort they put up against Pitman in their last game.
He said his team also had a tough time sustaining any momentum and got their lone touchdown on a punt return by Jacob Augusto.
“The momentum snowballed but in a bad way,” the coach said of Hilmar being able to capitalize on all their miscues.
The team will be at home for their last game at Engel Field this season on Thursday, Oct. 7 at 5 p.m., facing Stagg.