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JV Cougars Roughed Up In Season Opener
Getting mauled by the Patterson defense, Tyler Swinford, 7, is taken down while attempting to move the ball up the field in second half action Friday night. - photo by Marg Jackson/The Times

Visiting Patterson built up a 21-7 lead by halftime and walked off Engel Field with a 34-7 victory from Friday night’s junior varsity football game.

“We got whomped by a better team, that’s for sure,” said first year head JV coach Andrew Beam. “They got seven points in the first quarter; we scored a minute into the second quarter to make it 7-7.”

But that was as close as the young Escalon JV squad would get, fumbling away some opportunities and seeing Patterson capitalize on nearly every chance they had to put points on the board.

“We only ran five total plays in the second quarter but down 21-7, I still felt we had a chance,” Beam said, noting he was hopeful the team would come out strong in the second half.

Unable to contain the powerful Patterson squad, though, two more touchdowns went on the board for the Tigers in the second half for the runaway win.

“There were some bright spots,” Beam said. “We have six freshmen starting on defense so this was a big learning experience for them. That’s a daunting task but those guys will only get better.”

Escalon had 115 total yards of offense for the game, Patterson rolled up 270 and they had two passing touchdowns to go along with three rushing scores.

For Escalon, Tyler Swinford found the end zone on a 6-yard run and also had 19 carries for a total of 73 yards on the night. CJ Gumbs had seven carries for 25 yards. JV quarterback Dylan Azevedo completed two out of six passes, one to Tanner McCrary and one to Rex Robbins.

“We struggled, trying to stop the run,” Beam admitted of where the defense needs work. “Chance Bollen and Marc Camarena led us with six tackles each.”

The coach also anticipates this week’s match, headed out on the road for a Friday night game at Calaveras, will be much different.

“Both teams grind it out, pound the ball,” Beam said. “This will be two smashmouth football teams.”

Beam said the coaching staff is also young this season, as he assumes the role of head coach replacing longtime JV leader Randy Northcutt, and brings on new assistants Nick Largent and Joe Cowan.

“We’re growing and learning too,” he said. “I spent a lot of time, the last four or five years, learning from Randy and Lou (varsity head coach Mark Loureiro) and playing for them before that.

“It’s fun to finally have some control and call the plays.”