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League Opening Wins For JV, Freshman Football Teams
jv reach
It is a sea of bodies as the junior varsity defense of the Cougars looks to block an extra point attempt by Hughson during Friday night’s Trans-Valley League game. The host Cougars came away with a 33-14 win. Marg Jackson/The Times

After falling behind to the visiting Hughson Huskies, the junior varsity Cougars came roaring back on Friday night. They took a convincing 33-14 win from the Huskies in the Trans-Valley League opener on Sept. 16.

Hughson got on the board first, converting on an 18-yard pass play and adding the extra point for a 7-0 first quarter lead.

Escalon was able to answer on a 1-yard run from Kyrin Barajas, with the point after by Logan Huebner, tying the game at 7-7.

Ben Gonzalez found the end zone for Escalon in the second quarter, on a 4-yard run, and with the point after, the Cougars had a 14-7 halftime lead.

“This was a big win against an undefeated TVL rival,” said head coach Brant Rose. “Really proud that the players didn’t give up after playing from behind early in the game.”

The second half belonged to the JV Cougars, as they extended their lead to 21-7 on a 45-yard touchdown pass from Huebner to Sam Jimenez, point after good. Then, the defense stepped in, as Daniel Marrufo stripped the ball from a Hughson opponent, and returned the ensuing fumble 65 yards for the score. The point after was no good, but Escalon had a 27-7 lead after three quarters.

In the fourth, Hughson battled back for a 3-yard pass completion for a touchdown and added the extra point, trimming the lead to 27-14.

But Carson Medina put the exclamation point on the win, breaking free for a 42-yard rushing touchdown. The point after was no good, but the score was 33-14 in favor of the JV Cougars and that’s the way the scoring ended, Escalon capturing the win.

“In the third quarter we were able to pull away on two huge, game changing plays that happened on consecutive series,” noted Rose. “The huge strike from Huebner to Jimenez and then Marrufo’s strip TD on Hughson’s next possession. That sequence sealed the game.”

The teams had battled during the summer, just intensifying the rivalry as they competed at the Downey 7-on-7 Tournament and Escalon got the better of the Huskies in that event.

“The players are really enjoying the victory of this highly anticipated game,” Rose said, with both squads remembering the heat of the fight this past summer. “No doubt this victory means much more than that one.”

The JV has a bye this week but will be back in action Friday, Sept. 30 on the road at Hilmar.



With each team getting just one score, the Escalon freshmen came home from Hughson on Sept. 15 with a 7-6 victory.

“The lone touchdown was scored by fullback Jeremy Grivette and the extra point was kicked and made by Bryce Vallee,” said head coach Joey Costa. “He (Vallee) has been a huge part of our success as he has only missed once, and his extra point proved to be the difference in the game.”

Escalon got that touchdown in the second quarter to take a 7-0 halftime lead.

“They got the opening (second half) kickoff and we had pinned them with a great kickoff inside their own five by Lizandro Torres,” explained Costa. “They proceeded to drive the length of the field and took the entire third quarter. They scored to begin in the fourth and missed the extra point.”

Escalon did get the ball back on the kickoff but were pinned deep and ended up having to punt that possession away.

“They drove down and we held them so they attempted around a 35-yard field goal that fell short,” the coach noted.

That gave the Escalon frosh boys the ball back with just under two minutes to play and they were able to get the first downs needed.

“That was behind Jeremy Grivette and the offensive line; we were able to run out the clock with the win,” Costa said. “The offensive line played much better this week but just had very few possessions. The special teams were again excellent and punter Aydun Mello had a couple of big punts out of our side of the field.”

The defense also played well, shutting out the Huskies in the first half.

“Mason Haverkamp had a huge game with multiple sacks and tackles,” said Costa. “Other defensive standouts were Ben Ferreira and Lizandro Torres. Co Northcutt also had a good game offensively as well. We are very excited to get our first TVL win.”

The freshman boys will be at home Thursday night, Sept. 22 to take on Ceres.

Samuel Jimenez, 12, is all smiles after getting the turnover in fourth quarter action on Friday night, giving the ball back to Escalon as the JV boys defeated visiting Hughson. Marg Jackson/The Times