Looking at an early deficit, Escalon’s JV football team didn’t panic. They just stuck to the game plan and played it out to a road win on Friday.
“It was a real tough game but we pulled it out, 20-10,” said coach Andrew Beam.
Host Bear River was able to score on their first possession of the night, going on a 10-play drive and finding the end zone to go up 7-0 in the opening minutes.
“We fumbled on the 15-yard line on our first drive,” Beam said of having some early jitters. “Then we gave up a field goal in the second quarter.”
Down 10-0, the Cougars closed the gap on a 9-yard touchdown run from Tyler Swinford late in the first half to make it 10-7.
Beam said that was crucial, as the JV Cougars were to get the ball to start the second half.
“We got the opening kickoff and had a 13-play drive, ate up about eight minutes of the third quarter,” Beam explained. “Tyler Swinford went in on a 1-yard plunge, that made it 14-10.”
Defense started to take over, as the Bear River team managed just five plays total in the second half.
“We controlled the ball, controlled the clock, the O line really took over,” Beam said.
Timmy Costa had a 2-yard rushing touchdown in the final frame (kick blocked) for the 20-10 final. Quarterback Dylan Azevedo was 5-for-7 for 56 yards.
“His only two incompletions were on dropped balls,” Beam said, noting Azevedo would have had a perfect night if his receivers had held on to the passes.
Swinford anchored the rushing attack, 16 carries for 100 yards and two touchdowns. C.J. Gumbs had six carries for 63 yards and caught two passes for 17 yards.
“We had 274 total yards of total offense and gave up 101,” Beam said. “We held them to minus three yards rushing in the third and fourth quarters, our leading tacklers were Tyler Voral with eight tackles and one interception, Tim Costa had seven tackles.”
The long bus ride also cut into the team’s time for preparation, but the coach said that didn’t have a negative effect.
“We got off the bus 30 minutes before game time, had to dress and warm up quickly,” he said. “The kids responded great.”
The JV boys (2-3) now have their bye week, then head to Hughson to open up league play on Oct. 10. Their first two opponents, Hughson and Hilmar, have gone a combined 10-0 in preseason play.
“We’ve got some good momentum going into the bye week,” Beam said. “We have to get ready for Hughson.”