Keeping their opponent, host Calaveras, off the scoreboard until late in the fourth quarter, the Escalon JV football team walked away with a 27-7 win on Friday night.
It was the first time the young Cougars have gotten a win against Calaveras in the last several years, said head coach Andrew Beam.
“We started slow and gave up some big chunks of yardage on defense,” Beam admitted, noting that they did ultimately get into a groove and keep Calaveras under control. “Ethan Krieger had 13 tackles, Nash Satnat had 10.”
Neither team scored in the first quarter, Escalon put 10 points on the board in the second to take a 10-0 halftime lead. Adding two more touchdowns in the third, they extended the advantage to 24-0. Calaveras broke through late in the fourth and Escalon added a fourth quarter field goal to close out their scoring.
“We gave up 186 total yards,” Beam explained.
In contrast, the Cougars had 196 yards rushing and 77 yards passing for a total of 273 yards.
Quarterback Lucca Dutra was a standout on both sides of the ball for the JV squad, connecting on five of 12 passes and scoring on a 13-yard run. Other scores came from Kaden Christensen (41 yards) and Jordan Gwartney (1 yard).
“We also got a great night from our kicker, Guillermo Alvarez,” Beam added, with the soccer player taking advantage of that season moving to winter to kick for the football team. “This was his first ever football game, he had three touchbacks and two field goals, the first for 25 yards and the second for 47 yards.”
He also hit all three extra point attempts.
Knowing they would be facing a physical opponent, Beam said they went in prepared but it still took a little time to adjust.
“We played a much better second half,” the coach noted. “We had the speed advantage and we used it. This was a big game for our freshmen, a real big, physical contest and this is the first time we’ve beaten Calaveras at the JV level in quite a few years.”
The physicality of the game will help prepare the JV Cougars for the rest of the season, with a couple more non-league contests before they start Trans-Valley League play.
This week, they will be at home for the first time this season, hosting Liberty of Madera.
“We don’t know too much about them, so we’ll look at films,” Beam said.
The good news, he added, is that the team got out of the game healthy, with no injuries.
Kickoff is set for 5:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 9.