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It won’t be an easy road trip.

Escalon’s varsity football team gets back on the bus for their third straight road game this week, heading to Patterson to take on the Tigers in Friday night action, Sept. 22.

“Now we jump into the fire,” agreed head coach Mark Loureiro, who said the Tigers will be a fierce opponent.

Patterson is currently at 2-1; they lost to Downey in a shootout, 72-61, while getting wins over Palo Alto and Modesto. The Tigers are averaging over 50 points per game and had a bye this past week, so they are well-rested.

“They’re just very explosive,” Loureiro said.

Team leaders are quarterback Gabe Sanchez, 6-0, 170; top receivers Joe Okitukunda, 6-2, 185; James Perez, 6-3, 175; and Greg Reichmuth, 6-2, 180; leading rusher Jacob Vainuku, 6-1, 245, who lines up at fullback and nose guard.

“He’s nails,” said Loureiro. “He’ll be a handful.”

Top linemen include Armando Robles, 6-2, 225 and Chris Garcia, 6-0, 190.

Escalon, now at 2-2, finishes out its non-league schedule with the road trip to Patterson this week.

“They can score at the drop of a hat,” Loureiro said of the Tigers. “We just need to try and keep them in a close game; we can’t get into a shootout with them.”

Kickoff will be about 7 p.m. Friday, following the JV contest.