As youth squads look to solidify playoff positions, it was a tough week on the gridiron for the Escalon Outlaws. Varsity and Novice squads fell to Calaveras, while the lone win on the day came at the Junior Varsity level.
The Escalon Outlaws took the field against the Calaveras Jr. Reds trying to build on the win from last week over Waterford. Escalon won the previous encounter this year during the second week of the pre-season. Both teams have improved, and the game shaped up to be the most hotly contested game of the season.
In the second quarter Calaveras would strike first with a 45-yard drive ending with a 6-yard run by the quarterback, and with the point after kick Calaveras would take an 8-0 lead.
Escalon would answer with a score of their own with a 55-yard drive. Tyler Medina would tote the ball the final 21 yards around the right end untouched for the score. The point after kick was converted by Alfonso Gonzalez to tie the game at 8-8. Calaveras would surge ahead before the halftime break with a 35-yard halfback throwback pass to the quarterback. The point after kick was converted again to give Calaveras a 16-8 lead at halftime.
The Outlaws would open the second half of play receiving the kick-off. Escalon would punt the ball away to the Jr. Reds, but would regain possession after a fumbled exchange on the next play recovered by Caden Gonzalves. The Outlaws would capitalize on this chance scoring two plays later. Christian Tinoco would carry the ball 28 yards to the Jr. Reds’ four-yard line. Medina would finish on a four-yard sweep around the left end. The point after kick was true by A. Gonzalez to knot the score again at 16-16.
The fourth quarter contained the most action of all. Calaveras would break the tie on a run through the middle of the Outlaws’ defense cutting back against the grain catching the defense going the wrong direction. The point after kick would be missed, but the Jr. Reds would take the lead nonetheless at 22-16. A quick strike from the Outlaws knotted the score again after Josh Miller connected with Tinoco on a high arching pass down the left sideline. The play would cover 75 yards taking little time off of the clock. The point after kick would be blocked, so the score would be tied at 22-22.
Calaveras would reach into their offensive bag of tricks again to take the lead for the last time with under a minute to play. The Jr. Reds’ running back would fake a sweep to the right only to loft a pass to a receiver that found himself behind the Escalon defense in the end zone from 30 yards. The point after kick was good to bring the score to its final of 30-22.
Escalon will be on the road for the regular season finale to renew their annual rivalry with nearby Ripon. Playoff seeding is at stake, so this contest will carry extra importance.
The Jr. Varsity Outlaws were looking to bounce back following the loss last week to Waterford. The Outlaws were able to make a few adjustments to bring home a win on Engel Field. The scoring began in the second quarter with a 51-yard drive covered mostly by a Caleb Cavanaugh 45-yard sprint down the right sideline. The drive ended with a 1-yard plunge by Donovan Rozevink. The point after kick was blocked, but the Outlaws would step out to a 6-0 lead.
The next score was set up by steady running by Ryker Peters and Cavanaugh resulting in a sweep around the left end by Cavanaugh. The point after kick was blocked, but the lead would grow to 12-0. The Outlaws would strike again in the third quarter after a Calaveras fumble would be recovered by Cameron Ruiz. Rozevink would find an open Cavanaugh behind the Jr. Reds’ defense for a score that covered 65 yards in total. The point after kick would be converted by Jacob Martin, extending the Escalon lead to 20-0.
The shut out would be broken with a consistent drive by Calaveras. The point after kick was converted closing the scoring gap to 20-8 in favor of Escalon. A late 25-yard field goal by Martin would close the scoring. The field goal was set up by an interception by Rozevink deep in Calaveras territory. The field goal would bring the score to its final of 23-8.
The Novice Outlaws ran into a brick wall of sorts this week. The Outlaws could find little traction on offense to gain any momentum. The young Outlaws were shut out this week, but only surrendered two touchdowns themselves in the heavily contested battle with a final score of 14-0. The offense was led by Jacob Cavanaugh, Kyrin Barajas and Austin Cullum.
The defensive efforts were led by Giovanni Chavez and Frankie Rodriguez. The young Outlaws are still in position to have a bye in the first round of the playoffs, but need a win against the rival Ripon Chiefs for insurance.
The Jr. Novice Outlaws were on the field for the last time this season. The Ripon Chiefs do not have a Jr. Novice team to take the field next week. The youngest of the Escalon Outlaws had to compete with only 10 players for the last weeks of the season, having lost one player to season ending injury early in the season. This type of ironman – well, “iron-boy” – type of football is not for the faint of heart.
Congratulations to these young boys on their season: Griffin Gerber, Jorden Jacobo, Bennett Guevara, Tristan Rodriguez, Oscar Lopez, Ethan Butler, Conner McDowell, Cole McDowell, Leo Marrufo, Noah Dooley, and Ethan Tellez.
All of these boys learned a great deal this season and will have the building blocks for seasons to come.
Thank you to the coaches who donated their time and efforts: Head Coach Hector Guevara, Jimmy McDowell, Chris Jacobo, and John Butler.