Ending the season at 8-2, the Escalon JV Cougars fell just short of the Trans-Valley League title, but closed out the campaign with a satisfying defeat of Hughson in action at Engel Field on Friday night.
The Nov. 3 contest saw Escalon take a 44-21 win off the field and the JV football boys rolled up nearly 500 yards of offense on the night.
“We got started early, our defense got a stop and Kaidence Trejo got our first touchdown, from two yards out, Bryan Hale went in for the 2-point conversion,” explained head coach Andrew Beam. “That made it 8-0.”
That was the only scoring in the first quarter but the host squad started to take control of the contest in the second quarter.
Along with eight points in the first, Escalon scored 14 in the second to lead 22-0 at the half. The JV Cougars, put 15 points on the board in the third while Hughson also got into the end zone that quarter, Escalon leading 37-8 headed into the fourth.
Hughson scored a couple late touchdowns and Escalon added one more in the fourth for the 44-21 final.
“The second quarter we really got rolling,” Beam said. “We emptied the playbook, pulled out all the trick plays, no sense keeping them until next week.”
Bryan Hale scored from three yards out but the 2-point attempt failed, the JV squad still took the lead, 14-0.
“Just before half, we had a nice double pass for a touchdown,” the coach added.
Quarterback Wyatt McCune pitched the ball to Kaidence Trejo, who then threw a strike to Eli Lattig from 41 yards out for the razzle dazzle touchdown.
“Then Wyatt McCune found Lattig for the 2-point conversion and we were up 22-0 at the half,” Beam said. “We felt pretty good at that point.”
Hughson had a hard time stopping the Cougar offense, with the JV boys taking the kickoff for the second half and getting a quick score. Trejo, on the third play from scrimmage, took off for a 63-yard scoring run and also ran in the 2-point conversion to make it a 30-0 Escalon lead.
“We got another defensive stop and then Luke Anderson had a 55-yard touchdown run,” Beam said.
The kick was good by Ricky Erazo and it was 37-0 Escalon.
Hughson was finally able to break through for a touchdown and 2-point conversion late in the third to trim the lead to 37-8.
Escalon scored a single touchdown in the fourth, Hughson did find the end zone two more times but it was too little, too late for the Huskies as host Escalon had the solid win in hand.
Their final touchdown was a fitting end to the season.
“It was on a fourth and about 15, McCune lofted the ball to the end zone, it was a jump ball that Trejo came down with,” Bream said. “The kick was good.”
That gave Escalon its 44 points for the contest, easily outdistancing the visiting Huskies.
“It was just a dominating performance,” added Beam. “We had 482 yards of offense, they had 255.”
Trejo had a monster night, with a defensive interception, 12 carries for 122 yards, he was 2-for-3 passing for 44 yards and had two catches himself for 20 yards.
“He had a passing touchdown, one receiving touchdown and two rushing touchdowns,” Beam noted. “Luke Anderson (freshman) had seven carries for 165 yards and a touchdown.”
Ripon beat Hilmar in another crucial TVL match at the JV level on Friday; that left both the Indians and the Yellowjackets with 9-1 records and Escalon at 8-2.
“I really need to give props to Wyatt McCune, he was 6-for-9 for 48 yards and a touchdown, he did a really good job,” Beam said of the sophomore having a strong night to help contribute to the final game victory.
McCune got his first taste of competitive football last year with the freshman team, and was thrown into service this year when starting quarterback Ty Harris went out with a broken collarbone.
“He has just made a ton of progress throughout the year,” Beam said.
Likewise, he said the team rose to the occasion after losing not only Harris but also in having three quality starters called up to the varsity squad and then seeing arguably the best two-way starter in league, Colton Panero, lost to a season-ending injury several weeks ago.
“I like the way we closed out the season,” Beam said of rising above the adversity. “This class will be fun to watch over the next couple of years.”