At 1-1 in Trans-Valley League play, Escalon looks to get a crucial win this week, hosting the 2-0 Ripon Indians at Engel Field.
It will be Senior Night, with recognition for senior football players, cheerleaders and their parents prior to kickoff.
“A win by us gets us a step closer to the playoffs,” said Escalon head coach Mark Loureiro. “This is always a big rivalry game.”
Ripon, under new head coach Chris Musseman – a longtime assistant taking over the program this season – comes in at 4-3 overall and 2-0 in league after defeating Modesto Christian by a 23-6 final this week. Escalon, now 3-4 overall, is coming off a big 42-14 win on the road at Mountain House so both teams want to keep their momentum rolling.
The Indians have the league’s top receiver in Aaron Paschini, a wide receiver and defensive back. Top lineman Bryce Kinsey also sees action at fullback with Andrew Durrer at linebacker and tight end. Sophomore quarterback Ryan Dagget is getting more comfortable with each game and Ripon also has a couple of strong running backs in Michael Winters and Ryan Wilson.
“These teams run similar offenses,” Loureiro said, noting that the game does have major postseason implications. Ripon would almost guarantee themselves a playoff berth with a win, Escalon wants the game just as badly to draw even with the Indians in the TVL standings.
“It should be interesting to see how it goes,” said Loureiro.
Kickoff will be about 7:30 p.m.