A solid effort on the gridiron, with contributions from plenty of players, saw Escalon’s JV football team get back in the win column on Friday night.
After losing their league opener on the road at Hilmar on Oct. 6, the JV squad pulled even in the tough Trans-Valley League with a 36-14 win over Mountain House to kick off a Homecoming doubleheader on Oct. 13.
“It was exactly what we wanted to do,” said head coach Andrew Beam. “We established the physicality up front, we rushed for 245 yards.”
Escalon scored single touchdowns in the first and second quarters, got into the end zone twice in the third and got a touchdown and two-point conversion in the fourth quarter.
Mountain House was held scoreless in the first half, the young Cougars taking a 14-0 advantage into the locker room. The visiting Mustangs got one touchdown in the third, one in the fourth to avoid the shutout but couldn’t get any closer to the host team.
“Our plan was to control the line of scrimmage, control the clock and we did both those things,” said Beam.
The team, which lost leading rusher Colton Panero last week to a season-ending injury, was able to regroup and come back this week with a much more focused, cohesive game.
In Panero’s absence, the workload was spread around and Beam said several players stepped up to fill the void.
“Bryan Hale had 15 carries for 119 yards and two touchdowns, Luke Anderson had eight carries for 60 yards and two touchdowns,” Beam said. “Eli Lattig got involved with some running yards, he had four carries for 45 yards and a touchdown and showed off his speed a little bit.”
Mountain House went to the air, throwing the ball 30 times, connecting on 13 of the throws.
“I was happy with that effort,” Beam said of his defensive corps breaking up multiple passes. “Our run defense also did very well.”
Defensively, Jonathan Santos had a big fumble recovery in the first half, while Luke Anderson, Wyatt Dean and Omar Algaheim each had a sack.
In the fourth quarter, as the JV team capped the scoring with a final touchdown, Beam opted for the 2-point try.
“Wyatt McCune had made a great pass earlier that wasn’t caught; I wanted to give him another chance for a completion,” Beam said.
On the 2-point conversion, McCune connected with Miguel Souza.
“Now we have a big game against Ripon,” Beam noted.
The two teams will meet Friday night, Oct. 20 in Ripon, both coming in with 6-1 overall records. The coach added that the teams will battle it out as they both have their sights set on a run to the TVL title.
Kickoff will be at 5:30 p.m. Friday in Ripon.