The playoffs don’t get any easier this week.
Escalon will host Hilmar in a semifinal match up, pitting the two familiar Trans-Valley League foes against each other for the right to advance to the Division VI Section title game.
Frank Marques coaches the Yellowjackets and top players for the team include senior quarterback Tristan Crowley, 6-1, 185 and junior quarterback Ryan Teixeira, 6-0, 180.
Leading rusher is junior running back Isaac Sharp, 5-11, 170 and top defender is Justin Rentfro, 6-1, 205, a linebacker and the team’s second leading rusher.
Leading receiver is Carter Azevedo, 5-8, 165 and another solid player for the Yellowjackets is Tyler Amarante, 5-9, 185, a linebacker and running back.
Anchoring the line are Jared Collins, 6-0, 245 and Nick Aguilera, 6-3, 240.
“We’ve got our work cut out for us,” Escalon head coach Mark Loureiro said. “They played at number three Summerville last week and dominated from the start, winning 48-3.”
Escalon did beat Hilmar on the road during TVL play, 28-14, but the contest was knotted at 14-14 heading into the fourth quarter.
“It was a real dogfight,” Loureiro said of their first meeting. “We were fortunate to win there.”
He added that Hilmar played error free in their first round match with Summerville and Escalon will need to clean up their mistakes from Friday night in order to compete.
“Our backs are against the wall,” he said, adding that Hilmar is in the same position, as it is ‘one and done’ now and only the winner moves forward in the playoffs.
“Hopefully our kids are ready to play,” said Loureiro.
Gates open at 5:45 p.m. for the contest, with kickoff at 7 p.m.