Hosting the Jr. Wildcats of Sonora, it was a successful – but hard-fought – Saturday of football for the Escalon Outlaws.
The Outlaws started quickly, taking their first drive down the field to open the scoring. Kaidence Trejo raced around the left end into the open field reaching the end zone untouched. The Outlaws would soon reach the promised land a second time as Sonora fumbled the ball away. Colton Panero took the ball into the end zone from 2 yards out.
The Outlaw defense was stifling all day, consistently in the Sonora offensive backfield. The second quarter was much the same, smothering defense followed by methodical, efficient offense. The Outlaws scored again on a short drive with Trejo again reaching pay dirt. This time the point-after kick was good by Roman Gonzalez raising the score to 20-0. Escalon would score again, this time through the air on a 22-yard pass from Kaden Christensen to Trejo. Christensen would again tally a touchdown pass this time to Jacob Walden from 10 yards out after the Jr. Wildcats turned the football over on downs deep in their own territory. Escalon closed the first half of play comfortably in the lead 34-0.
In the second half of play, Escalon was able to scratch two more touchdowns on the board. One was a 20-yard run through the middle of the Jr. Wildcat defense by Brian Hale. The other was on the ground through the middle of the Sonora defense, from 25 yards away, by Damien Tom. One of the point-after kicks was converted finishing off the scoring at 48-0.
The shutout was preserved during a late threat with a shoe string tackle by Garrett Nash as a Jr. Wildcat running back broke through into the Outlaw defensive backfield.
Members of the Junior Varsity squad were looking to build off their opening week success. The JV opened the scoring while Sonora had the football. JP Lial intercepted an errant pass from the Sonora quarterback racing it all the way to the end zone. The defense suffocated the Jr. Wildcats much of the day giving the Outlaws’ offense a short field to work with. A second touchdown of the first quarter was marked by a tough 4-yard run by Jacob Redding.
In the second quarter, Carson Prim stepped in front of a pass headed to a Jr. Wildcat receiver and raced to the end zone, only to have the score erased on a penalty. Prim would not have that score denied as later in the quarter he sped around the left end for his touchdown after Sonora had turned the football over on downs deep in their own territory. The third quarter only saw one tally by the Outlaws. The score came after a fumble recovery deep in Sonora territory by Luke Anderson. This turnover set up a score by Ty Harris on a 12-yard run bouncing off of would-be tacklers.
Sonora could not build any serious threat to the Escalon end zone but Jacob Redding got the Outlaws on the board with two defensive scores. The first came on a strip of the ball from the Sonora running back as he was fighting for more yards. Redding ripped the ball from his arms and never broke stride racing to the end zone. The second came on an interception of a Jr. Wildcat pass with a 60-yard return for the touchdown. This closed out the scoring at 40-0.
Sonora was able to get on the board with two scores through the air, one in each of the first two quarters. Escalon struggled to get their feet under them until the last play of the first half as Alfonzo Gonzalez broke for a large gain needing one more block to get to the end zone. Escalon trailed at the half, 13-0.
Escalon returned from the halftime break a different team. The second half started with a well placed on-side kick from Gideon Gerber that bounced off a Sonora player and was recovered by Owen Nash. That recovery was only the start of the highlight reel for Nash. On the ensuing drive Nash raced for 50 yards around the right end and was able to outrun all of the Jr. Wildcat defenders to get Escalon on the scoreboard. Escalon’s defense stiffened, keeping Sonora off of the scoreboard and trailing 13-6 after three.
The Outlaws were able to capitalize on their defensive intensity getting the Jr. Wildcats to turn the ball over on downs on their side of the 50-yard line. Escalon drove the ball toward the end zone on tough running by Ryker Peters and Gonzalez. Nash scored again, this time from 30 yards out. The point after touchdown conversion was turned away leaving Escalon behind 13-12.
Time was winding down fast and Sonora had the football. Jamin Miller intercepted a pass that could have doomed the Outlaws, giving them one more chance, and they made the most of this opportunity. Escalon worked the football down inside the Jr. Wildcat 5-yard line. Again Nash raced around the right end with Ayden Wilson, Cameron Dalpogetti and Austin Ewing sealing the edge of the Sonora defense. Nash barely squeezed into the end zone at the pylon as time expired. The Outlaws escaped with the win 18-12.
The Junior Novice Outlaws were seeing their first action of the season, after having a bye last week. The Outlaws dominated on both offense and defense. Escalon was driven on offense by Sammy Sandoval, Kyrin Barajas, and Austin Cullum. Each ran the ball hard and outdistanced the defense.
On defense the Outlaws were led by solid performances from Hayden McPherson, Jacob Cavanaugh, Max Gonzalez and Ben Gonzalez.
The team as a whole worked hard to make it a long day for the visiting Jr. Wildcats.
This week, the Outlaws squads travel to meet the Calaveras Jr. Redskins.