Escalon varsity Outlaws were looking to close out the regular season with a win against a long-time rival, Ripon Chiefs. A win this week would close out an undefeated regular season, and give Escalon the top seed heading into the playoffs that start next week.
Escalon would receive the opening kick-off, and start their first possession from their own 15-yard line. After hard runs by Luke Anderson, Logan Webster and Fabian Torres the Outlaws found themselves at midfield. Ty Harris would connect with Elijah Lattig for a long gain that would have been a touchdown had it not been called back on a penalty. The Outlaws ground game proved to be too much completing the 85-yard drive ending in the Ripon end zone. The point after kick conversion was blocked, but the Outlaws held a 6-0 lead.
The Chiefs would spend their first possession battling a stingy Outlaw defense. After gaining one first down Ripon would gamble early going for the first down on fourth down and three yards to gain. Shane Campbell was up to the task wrangling a scrambling Ripon quarterback to turn the football over on downs.
The Outlaws would take over on the Chief’s 47-yard line to start the second quarter, and again attack the defense with a ground assault. Torres and Webster did the work marching the ball toward the Ripon goal line. Escalon would score on an 18-yard connection between Harris and Lattig. The point after kick was converted giving Escalon a 14-0 lead.
Ripon would begin the second half with possession and would cross midfield with the kickoff return starting their possession at the Outlaws’ 40-yard line. The Outlaws defense would not budge keeping the Chiefs exactly where they started their possession. Escalon would take over after the turnover on downs. Escalon would again drive the ball toward the Ripon end zone with blunt force. The 60-yard drive would end with a Webster 23-yard dash into the end zone. The point after kick was again converted by Torres pushing the Escalon lead to 22-0.
Ripon would get another quality return on the ensuing kickoff and would not be denied on this offensive effort. The Chiefs offense found a temporary solution to the Outlaws’ defensive puzzle. The point after kick was converted closing the scoring gap to 22-8. Ripon would threaten to score one more time, but the drive was halted by a Carson Prim interception.
The offensive line turned in a banner performance again leading the way for the trio of Outlaws’ running backs. Alex Guevara, Wyatt Dean, Demetrius Teixeira, Evan Foley, Chase Pacheco, Daniel Gonzalez, and Nathan Miranda worked to clear the paths for Webster, Anderson and Torres.
The defense of the Varsity Motherlode Valley Football League Championship title will begin next week. The Varsity Outlaws will face the Hughson Jr. Huskies while traveling to the neutral site playoff location.
The Jr. Varsity Outlaws looked to solidify their playoff position with a win against the visiting Ripon Chiefs. The Outlaws are in a three-way tie for the #1 seed in the playoffs with the Linden Jr. Lions and this week’s opponent Ripon. This brought a little more pressure to the already contentious rivalry.
Both defenses made a statement during the game. Ripon was able to capitalize on an early Escalon turnover. The Chiefs defender stepped in front of an errant Josh Miller pass giving Ripon the football. Ripon turned that opportunity into points with a touchdown. The point after touchdown was missed giving the visitors a 6-0 lead.
Escalon’s offense was powered by the legs of Anthony White, Evan Lewis, Christian Tinoco and Alfonso Gonzalez. The Outlaws threatened driving the ball deep into Ripon territory, but would stall inside the Chief’s 5-yard line. The Outlaws defense would make a stand, and their own mark on the scoreboard. Ryker Peters broke through the offensive line to sack the Ripon quarterback in their end zone for a safety and two points, making the score 6-2 in favor of the Chiefs.
The score would remain 6-2 all the way to the final siren as the game clock ran out. Escalon will meet the same Ripon Chiefs next week in the first round of the playoffs at a neutral site match-up. The Jr. Varsity Outlaws will have their work cut out for them to defend their Motherlode Valley Football League Championship title.
The young Outlaws did not have the same stake to play for as the older teams, but still looked to finish their season with a good showing against a longtime rival. It would not be the Outlaws day, falling 45-0 to the visiting Chiefs.
Ryan Lewis showed that he will be a capable ball carrier, as his older brother is for the Jr. Varsity squad. Alan Jimenez showed that he will be able to contribute as a pass catcher at the next level hauling in a 20-yard pass from Jamin Miller. Gideon Gerber again displayed defensive consistency with good tackling and an interception.
The Novice Outlaws are young and will return a large number of players with experience for next season.
The youngest Outlaws went into their last exhibition with a good deal of experience that they had gained throughout the year. Hezekiah Griffin was a mover and a shaker on the offensive front opening running lanes for Andrew Munoz and Kyrin Barajas. Barajas showed great courage coming back to action after suffering a broken arm earlier in the season.
This group of boys will be ready to build on their experiences when the season begins next year.