Escalon’s junior varsity football team crafted its second straight shutout, defeating visiting Calaveras by a decisive 28-0 final on Friday night.
“We had another outstanding game, especially on the defensive side,” said head coach Andrew Beam. “We gave up only 92 total yards of offense.”
While the defense was frustrating Calaveras, the young Cougar offense was burning up the field, scoring two touchdowns in the first quarter, one each in the second and third. They also had one touchdown called back on a penalty and missed a field goal attempt, but the four successful scores were more than enough to cement the victory.
“Offensively, we opened up with a nice drive that ended on a 24-yard touchdown pass to Eli Lattig from Ty Harris,” Beam said.
Ricky Erazo added the extra point for the early 7-0 lead.
After holding Calaveras to a three-and-out on their first possession, Escalon came back on their second possession of the game, cashing in on a 63-yard touchdown run from Colton Panero. With Erazo adding the point after, it was 14-0.
Battling high heat and unusually humid conditions on Friday, Beam said he was glad his team got the lead and didn’t have to fight back against both Calaveras and the weather. But the visitors were not as lucky, as they tried to fight an uphill battle.
“We got a 10-yard touchdown run from Luke Anderson on our third possession, it felt good to go up 21-0,” said Beam.
Calaveras looked to make something happen to open the third quarter, as they got the second half kickoff. The Cougars, however, were having none of it, keeping their foot on the gas.
“We held them to three and out, then our first possession of the third quarter we scored on a 58-yard hook-and-ladder from Harris to Souza to Kaidence Trejo,” Beam explained.
The play saw Trejo evade two would-be tacklers and outrun everyone down the sideline for the touchdown. Erazo’s point after touchdown kick made it 28-0.
“Ty Harris had a great game, he was 6-for-7 for 119 yards and two touchdowns,” Beam said of his young quarterback. “He really showed a lot of progress from the first game to this one.”
Also making significant strides was Lattig, who made an impact with three catches for 49 yards and a touchdown on the night.
“Our line did an outstanding job as well,” Beam added.
The JV team had just three penalties on the night compared to 10 for Calaveras and Escalon did not turn the ball over at all. Erazo was 4-for-4 on extra point attempts.
Leading the defense were linebackers Luke Anderson, with 15 tackles, and Roman Gonzalez, who recorded 11. Also shining was Miguel Souza, who had an interception to stop a Calaveras drive, already his third pick of the season.
“Their biggest play all night was for eight yards,” Beam said of the visiting squad, which just couldn’t make much headway against the JV Cougars.
Overall, the second consecutive shutout was a satisfying win, but now the team has to find a way to win on the road, as they will head to Madera on Friday night, Sept. 8 for a game against Liberty High School. The kickoff is set for 5 p.m.
The JV boys, in fact, will turn in to true ‘road warriors’ for the next month, with four games away from home. They start at Liberty, then travel to Liberty Ranch in Galt on Sept. 15, and go to Patterson on Sept. 22. Following a bye on Sept. 29, they will open up Trans-Valley League plan at Hilmar on Oct. 6. The Liberty, Liberty Ranch and Patterson games all have 5 p.m. start times.
Beam said having watched film of the Liberty squad, he knows the JV Cougars are in for a battle.
“They’re 2-0, they will be the best team we’ve played by far,” Beam said. “We want to get out of there with a win or that will be a long ride home.”