Getting the chance to play in front of the home crowd for the first time, the youngest Cougar football team did not disappoint.
Escalon’s freshmen defeated the visiting Hughson Huskies on Thursday, Sept. 14 by a 28-13 final.
Hughson received the opening kickoff and used up most of the first quarter with a long slow drive, but the Huskies were eventually stopped by the Cougar defense and Escalon got the ball around the 30-yard line.
“After a couple first down runs by Fabian Torres and Cristian Serrano we were at midfield early in the second quarter,” explained head coach Mark Walden. “Fullback Jaden Fontes took the ball right up middle, ran over a linebacker and outran the rest of defense for a 50 yard TD run; the extra point kick by Miguel Sandoval made it 7-0.”
After receiving the kick Hughson answered back with long touchdown run themselves, however they missed the extra point making the score 7-6 Escalon in the second quarter.
“After some back and forth Cougars wingback Torres broke a long run around the right side and moved the ball to the five, setting up a 5-yard touchdown run around the left side by Cristian Serrano,” said Walden. “The extra point was muffed making the score 13-6. There was no more scoring in the first half.”
Escalon, which had won the toss and deferred, got the ball to start second half play. They made the most of that possession, stretching out the lead.
After moving the ball to about midfield, quarterback Justis Dutt completed a 20-yard pass to Shane Campbell, who ran it to inside the five-yard line setting up another Fontes touchdown.
Having missed the previous extra point, Escalon went for the two-point conversion and were successful with an outside run by Torres, making the score 21-6.
Hughson quickly responded once again with another long touchdown and extra point making it 21-13.
“In the fourth quarter the Escalon offense consisted of a heavy dose of physical running by Fontes and Torres. Dutt completed another long pass to Torres giving Escalon the ball on the three-yard line,” Walden said. “From there Fontes punched it in for his third TD of the day. After an extra point kick from Sandoval the score was 28-13.”
That would prove to be the final, the young Cougars getting the win in front of a supportive Thursday night crowd.
“Hughson was the most physical team we’ve seen so far and our guys responded well. The interior defense, Nathan Miranda and Chase Pacheco, played particularly well as they stuffed up the middle of the Hughson offense most of the game,” said Walden.
Pacheco also recorded a sack in the game.
“I’m very happy with the progression of the team. Guys who have never played football before or are in new positions are beginning to get comfortable and make plays,” noted the coach. “We have players who couldn’t line up correctly or get into a good stance a couple weeks ago are now scoring touchdowns, making big blocks and tackles. It is fun to watch.”
The frosh boys will be back at home this week, hosting Patterson on Thursday, Sept. 21 with game time at 6 p.m.