Getting on the field for their first contest of the season, the Escalon freshmen took a hard fought 13-8 loss to Pacheco on Thursday, Sept. 5.
“It was our first ball game, we were a little slow in starting, then we got a little tired,” said frosh head coach Roger Beeman.
Pacheco came in and matched up fairly well against the young Cougars, though the home team had trouble stopping one of their players.
“We had too much trouble with number 2, that young man put on quite a show, he had two long runs for scores, a couple of long kick returns,” Beeman said.
The team could not find a way to tackle him; even when they did wrap him up he seemed to bring half the Cougars with him and more often than not, he was able to squeeze out of the situation.
Overall, Beeman said, coaches were pleased with the effort and learned that this squad will also have some bright spots along the way.
“We found out we are going to be able to do a lot of stuff,” said Beeman. “There’s more stuff we have to learn, we have to get into better shape, and get more kids ready to play.”
Pacheco scored in the first quarter, on a 55-yard run and got the point after to take a 7-0 lead.
“That was it for the first half,” noted Beeman, adding that both teams were their own worst enemies in the first two quarters, stalling their own drives.
“We got the second half kickoff, put together a nice drive and Timmy Costa scored on a 14-yard run,” Beeman explained. “Tyler Swinford ran in the 2-point conversion for an 8-7 lead.”
Escalon was able to hold off Pacheco for much of the second half, but then gave up a late score, on a 70-yard run.
“We spoiled their PAT so we were down 13-8 and we still had a chance,” said the coach. “We came out and threw the ball nicely, moved the ball down field.”
Escalon came up just short, by less than the length of a football, on a fourth down play that would have given them four more shots at the end zone, but they had to turn the ball over. Pacheco took the snap and the knee to run out the last few seconds on the clock.
“We ended up short, but not by much at all,” agreed Beeman. “We had some outstanding individual efforts.
“We do know this team will win or lose by playing as a team, and they realize that.”
Key to the game, Beeman said, was quarterback Dominic Barry, who had only a few days to work with the offense before being thrown in to the contest.
“He just got moved to quarterback, had only a few days to prepare to be the starter, he grew up fast, did a real good job,” Beeman explained. “If all the kids can start catching on like that, we will do real well.”
For the young Cougars, the defense was basically solid, with just a couple of fundamental breakdowns that the visitors capitalized on for a pair of scores.
“Losing 13-8 is nothing to be upset about,” added Beeman. “We made our mistakes, missed some chances.”
The freshmen will play at Linden on Wednesday, Sept. 11 at 6 p.m.