The Escalon High freshman football team purred to a 24-14 victory over visiting Hughson on Thursday night to snap a short, two game losing skid. The young Cougars played good, solid football in all aspects of the game. With the exception of two broken plays that went for touchdowns, the defense forced Hughson’s offense to go backward most of the night while recovering a fumble and forcing three interceptions.
Escalon’s first drive of the game culminated with a 1-yard Dylan Parks run with 2:00 left in the first quarter. Parks’ pass to Shane Johnson for the conversion made the score 8-0. Hughson countered with two scores early in the second quarter. A 40-yard TD run followed by a 45-yard TD run put Hughson up 14-8.
The Cougar offense got going again later in the quarter, and Bryan Hale capped a long drive with a 1-yard TD plunge. Hale also carried the conversion attempt for two more points and a 16-14 Escalon lead at halftime.
After a scoreless third quarter, Escalon put the game away in the fourth with another touchdown run by Hale, this one from 6 yards out. Parks found Dylan Ruiz with a short pass for the two point conversion and a 24-14 final score.
“It was good to see the improvement in the team,” said Coach Roger Beeman. “The defense played great – four turnovers and two blocked kicks. We hit better, we were flying to the ball, and we stuck to our assignments. Coach (Danny) King did a great job getting the guys rolling.”
Linebackers Noah Rast, Jacob Sizelove, Bradley Hagglund, and Levi Hale played well behind a solid defensive line. Rast had a big interception, and Johnson added two late picks to seal the victory.
Offensively, the Cougars ran well behind an aggressive offensive line. David Camacho, Mitchell Cole, Jakob Hunter, Johnny Sanatos, and others opened big holes for running backs Hale, Ruiz, Kaidence Trejo, and Garrett Nash. Parks was efficient, completing 4 of 6 passes and running for a score.
The team will travel to Hilmar for a rematch on Thursday. They will be looking to avenge a 27-0 loss from three weeks ago.