The Escalon Outlaws entered the “Second Season” this past weekend. The first round of the MVFL playoffs were hosted at Waterford High School. There was a second playoff site at Linden High School. The winners at each level, Novice, Jr. Varsity and Varsity, will meet next week at Hughson High School.
The Outlaws road to a hoped-for repeat championship would start with a match up against the Hughson Huskies. Escalon had prevailed in their previous meeting two weeks ago, 36-8. As in any sport, it is difficult to beat any opponent a second time especially when a loss means the end of your season.
The Huskies would receive the opening kickoff to begin the game. Hughson would begin moving the ball through the air, but that would come at a cost. Christian Serrano was able to step in front of the intended receiver intercepting the pass with a 10-yard return. Escalon would make the most of the early turnover when Ty Harris found Elijah Lattig open behind the Hughson defense. Lattig raced down the right sideline pulling away from the Huskies’ pursuit. The point after touchdown kick was converted by Fabian Torres giving Escalon an early 8-0 lead.
Hughson would return the ensuing kickoff into Escalon territory to begin their second possession at Escalon’s 41-yard line. Hughson would drive the ball down to the Outlaws’ 1-yard line. The Outlaws defense would be up to the task stopping the Huskies forcing a turnover on downs. The defensive hold would be for naught, as the Huskies forced a turnover on downs after halting the Outlaws after crossing midfield. Hughson would shock the stout defense as the running back broke through the left side of the defensive front and was able to outrun the defensive secondary for a 70-yard score. The point after kick was blocked leaving Escalon with a slim lead of 8-6.
The first half would end with the slimmest of margins, but Escalon would receive the kickoff to begin the second half of play. It did not take long for Escalon to stretch their lead. Carson Prim would tote the football 53 yards to the end zone on the second play from scrimmage. The point after was missed, but the lead would grow to 14-6. Hughson would be forced to punt on their first possession of the second half. Escalon would again drive the ball to Hughson’s end zone, but an errant pass in the end zone was intercepted by the Huskies and returned to the Outlaws’ 32-yard line. Hughson would take advantage of the turnover finding the Escalon end zone, but the point after kick was again missed closing the score to 14-12 in favor of Escalon.
The teams would trade possessions to start the fourth quarter. After Escalon had forced the Huskies to turn the ball over on downs, Harris would strike again on a short pass to Torres, who picked up a key block from Lattig, freeing him on a race to the end zone. The scoring play covered a total of 52 yards. The point after kick was converted extending the lead to 22-12.
Hughson would have one more effort with the ball, but the drive would end with an interception in the Escalon end zone by Prim.
Escalon would triumph 22-12 to move on to meet the Salida Steeler-Jags next week. One more win will give the Outlaws a chance to repeat as the MVFL Champions.
The Escalon Outlaws Jr. Varsity would meet a familiar foe in the first round of the MVFL playoffs. The Outlaws were matched up against the Ripon Chiefs, who they met only one week ago. Ripon won that contest 6-2.
The first quarter would end tied 0-0 with both defenses surrendering minimal gains not allowing the offenses to gain any traction. Solid effort was supplied on defense by Nathan Chavez, Josh Miller and Tyler Medina.
Escalon would drive the football inside the Chiefs’ 5-yard line behind tough running by Evan Lewis and Christian Tinoco. The Chiefs’ defensive back stepped in front of a Josh Miller pass intended for Alfonzo Gonzalez racing 96 yards untouched. The point after touchdown kick was converted giving Ripon an 8-0 lead. That would be the only serious threat to score that Escalon could muster as Ripon’s defense seemed to stiffen as the game wore on.
Ripon would score an additional two times, both with the point after kick converted pushing the score to 24-0. The final score would be 24-0. The loss for the Jr. Varsity Outlaws’ ended the hopes of defending their MVFL Championship won last year.