The Escalon Outlaws opened their 2016 campaign with a Motherlode Valley Football League Championship re-match from a year ago, matching up against the visiting Amador Eagles on Saturday, Aug. 20. The Eagles were seeking to avenge their overtime loss of a year ago.
Escalon’s varsity team looked as if they were going to dominate the day with tough inside running from Luke Anderson, often taking multiple Eagles to bring him down. Miscues deep inside Amador territory cost the Outlaws an early advantage.
Amador struck first with what started as a short pass over the middle, but resulted in a long run after catch. The point after was blocked leaving the Outlaws trailing 6-0. The Eagles were able to notch another score as the Outlaw offense stalled turning the ball over on downs. The Outlaws found themselves trailing 14-0 at the half.
Escalon was able to get an early possession in the second half as Amador turned the ball over on the second play from scrimmage. The Outlaws looked to be stalling again, but on fourth and 10 yard to go Ty Harris connected with Elijah Lattig on a pass down the right side to extend the Outlaw drive. The drive culminated in a 1-yard plunge in the middle of the line for Anderson, followed by the point after by Fabian Torres. The Outlaws cut the deficit 14-8.
The Outlaws were able to pull even on a drive carried by Anderson ending with Harris finding Lattig in the end zone on fourth down with a 19-yard strike. The point after was turned away by the Eagles leaving the game even 14-14.
The game turned to a battle between the 20-yard lines with little sign of either team taking advantage. Escalon looked to gain momentum after a fumbled exchange between the Eagle quarterback and running back. The momentum shifted back to Amador on the very next play, as Escalon gave the ball right back to them on a fumbled exchange of their own. Amador would make the most of this opportunity scoring through the air again on a slant pass. The Outlaws stiffened, blocking the extra point leaving the score 20-14 Amador.
Escalon could do little starting the final drive of the game with 1:24 on the game clock. There was a valiant effort put forth to drive into Amador territory. The game ended for the Outlaws on a lateral pass that found the ground that was recovered by the Eagles.
The Outlaws will be home again next week hosting the visiting Riverbank Junior Bruins.
The Junior Varsity Outlaws would have the same task as the Varsity Outlaws. The visiting Amador Eagles would be seeking revenge for a hard fought Championship game loss of a year ago.
Escalon was up to the task early stifling the Amador opening drive with a goal line stand.
Amador, however, got on the board first as JP Lial was trapped in the Escalon end zone for a safety, giving the visiting Eagles a 2-0 advantage.
The Outlaws were able to keep the score at 2-0 until the offense could get started and the home team was able to seize the lead just before half on a 7-yard pass from Josh Miller to Tyler Medina. The point after kick was converted by Alfonzo Gonzalez giving Escalon the 8-2 advantage.
The Escalon defense had turned back the Eagles offense until a receiver was able to get behind the defense. Amador evened the score, but could not take the lead as the point after attempt was stopped.
The game would extend into overtime as a Harris pass into the Eagle end zone found the ground as time expired. Each team had four downs to score from the 10-yard line, be it a touchdown or field goal. If the score were to remain tied after each team had a possession, then the teams would have another chance until the game was decided.
The visitors took the lead after the Amador running back scampered in weaving through the Escalon defense. The Outlaws answered with a score of their own on a rush by Evan Lewis. Both teams had the point after attempt turned away. Lewis would again find the end zone in the second overtime. This time the kick was converted by Gonzalez giving the Outlaws the 22-14 lead. The Escalon defense smothered the Eagles for four downs notching the victory with a final score of 22-14.
The young Novice Outlaw squad had a tough task ahead of them. The visiting Amador Eagles are the defending Mountain Division Champions. The Outlaws made little headway when in possession of the ball. Ryan Lewis was a bright spot on offense running hard with every opportunity.
Escalon trailed 6-0 at the half with a late score by the Eagles. The Outlaws defense held well against the Amador offense led by efforts from Lucas Johnson, Austin Cullum, and Jacob Cavanaugh.
Amador was able to wear down the Escalon defense with an opening drive of the second half that lasted 8:15 of the 10-minute quarter. The point after attempt was converted making the score 13-0. The Eagles added another score halfway through the fourth quarter pushing the score to its final 20-0.
The Jr. Novice Outlaws showed good signs that they are grasping the game that is new to many of them. The Jr. Novice Outlaws do not focus on score, but learning the basics of the game. The youngest Outlaws showed grit and determination during their contest. Kyrin Barajas, Daniel Lopez-Marrufo, and the twins Ben and Max Gonzales turned in exemplary efforts.