The Escalon Outlaws stepped onto the field Saturday evening with much on the line. First and foremost was winning the MVFL Championship, the second an undefeated season, and lastly to become the first Valley Division team to bring the coveted trophy home. The Amador Eagles would stand in the way of achieving all of these goals.
Escalon received the opening kick-off, after Amador deferred their decision when they won the coin toss. The Outlaws first possession would end with a punt. The Eagles would bring their offense to the field and gain some short lived momentum after a long pass dropped over Shane Johnson, who was blanketing the Amador wide-out. The Eagles would also stall with their first possession turning the football over on downs.
The Outlaws would not be denied on their second possession. Escalon moved the ball efficiently, grinding out yards on the ground. Colton Panero, Kaden Christensen and Damien Tom pounded the football through the Amador resistance. Tom cashed in from 7 yards out crushing through the right side of the line. The offensive line of Noah Rast, PJ Flores, Brad Hagglund, Roman Gonzalez, Austin Terra, and Jacob Walden imposed their will opening the running lanes. Fabian Torres would boot the point after touchdown through the uprights making the score 8-0.
After that score the game would then turn to the defenses. Neither team was able to move the ball into the opposing teams’ 25-yard line for the remainder of the first half. Rast, Walden and Tom killed any hope of the Eagles scoring before the half, tallying multiple sacks and tackles for loss.
In the third quarter Escalon’s offense was again stifled by the Eagles, who again forced a punt. The Outlaws gambled with a fake punt. The Eagles were not fooled and took possession with good field position. The field position showed to be irrelevant as the much taller Amador wide out took advantage of the shorter Escalon cornerback, Miguel Souza, on a pass that equated to a “jump ball.” The Eagles’ kicker was true with the point after touchdown attempt knotting the score at 8-8.
This game would be one for the ages as the score would remain tied 8-8 at the end of regulation. The overtime would be played similar to that of college football, except the ball would be placed on the 10-yard line with each team having 4 downs to score. Each team would have a chance until the tie was broken.
Escalon would have the first possession, and Panero would cash in on the first snap of the ball. Torres would add the kick making the score 16-8. Amador would answer on their possession and knot the score again at 16-16. There would be a penalty on the Outlaws during the point after attempt giving the Eagles the ball on the 5-yard line instead of the 10-yard line. The Eagles would again reach the end zone, but a bad snap on the point after attempt allowed the Outlaws’ rush to tackle the holder before the kick, opening the door for the Outlaws. The score at 22-16 Amador would mean that Escalon could win with a touchdown and a converted point after attempt. Panero again toted the football into the end zone on the first play. Torres stepped to the tee with a snap from Tom and a hold by Jack Fitzgerald he was able to split the uprights to give the Outlaws a 24-22 victory.
The Junior Varsity Outlaws would also face the Amador Eagles in their MVFL Championship game. This game would also be a hard fought battle where the first team to blink would end up on the short end of the stick.
Escalon would take the opening possession to tally on the scoreboard. Daniel Corral raced around the right end on fourth down and outdistanced the Amador defense. The point after touchdown kick was off the mark making the score 6-0.
This game was defensive to say the least. Jacob Redding, Luke Anderson, Logan Webster and Corral were able to wrangle the Eagles’ ball carriers all day whether it was through the offensive line or around it. The game would hold at 6-0 until midway through the fourth quarter until Demetrius Teixiera knocked a 27-yard field goal through pushing the score to 9-0. That score made it a two score game, basically putting the game out of reach with the way the Outlaws’ defense had been playing.
In the closing minutes Ty Harris was able to reel in a pass attempt that would end up putting the game on ice for the Outlaws.