It will be a Friday night trip up the hill – to Sutter Creek – for Escalon’s varsity football team, as they got the number 10 seed and will face off with number 7 Amador on Nov. 15.
The Division IV Sac-Joaquin Section football playoffs have Central Catholic as the top seed hosting Marysville (16), and Colfax (8) hosting Sierra (9) in that bracket as well. Calaveras (5) hosts No. 12 Hughson, Ripon (4) hosts No. 13 Dixon; Capital Christian (3) hosts Placer (14) and Center (6) hosts Modesto Christian (11).
In Escalon’s bracket, it’s Hilmar (2) hosting Liberty Ranch (15) and Escalon (10) traveling to No. 7 Amador.
“We’re happy with our draw,” Escalon head coach Mark Loureiro said. “When you get the 10th seed, you’re happy to be there.”
Escalon faced Amador in a home game a few seasons ago in the postseason and defeated them but this time, it will be the Cougars who will be entering hostile territory. Still, with a 4-2 mark in league and 6-4 overall, Loureiro said the team is looking forward to playing another week … and possibly more.
“It’s a program that has turned around in the last three years,” Loureiro said of the Amador Thundering Herd, which took second place in the Mother Lode League this season to Calaveras.
“They got an 8-6 win against Argonaut in their season finale,” the coach added, with Amador coming in at 9-1 overall. “They run the Wing-T, but they run it from under center and the shotgun, they give you a lot of different looks.”
The Thundering Herd mixes the pass and run about 50-50, so the Cougars will need to be ready for just about anything come Friday night.
“They don’t beat themselves, they create a lot of turnovers and they score points off those turnovers,” said Loureiro.
The team also has some size on the front line, with players ranging from 240 to 270 pounds lining up across the line of scrimmage. It will be a huge test for the Cougars who, if they take down Amador, would likely be matched up in the second round with Hilmar. The Yellowjackets, 10-0, don’t appear ready to drop a game to Liberty Ranch as they look to go deep into the playoffs.
For Amador, head coach is Bill Baker and the team is led by senior quarterback/defensive back Kody Sackett, 6-1, 165. He has thrown for 11 touchdowns but also has seven interceptions against him this season. He has completed 52-of-122 pass attempts.
Leading rusher is senior running back/defensive back Donald White, 5-10, 165. He has carried the ball 109 times for 1,016 yards and has 12 touchdowns. Junior Logan Collins, a fullback/outside linebacker, comes in at 6-0, 195 and has rushed 95 times for 402 yards with a pair of scores.
Senior Shane Sweet has pulled in 18 passes for 333 yards and two scores; White also has 15 catches for 273 yards and a touchdown.
Defensive leaders are Grant Olin, a senior linebacker/fullback who is listed at 5-8, 185 and has 87 total tackles for the season, 61 of them solo. Chance Dominguez, senior outside linebacker/wide receiver, is 6-1, 195 and has 42 tackles, 29 of them solo.
Loureiro said the team will be focused and ready to go on Friday night, with hopes of a good following from the Escalon fans on the road. Game time is 7 p.m. at Amador, with the school at 330 Spanish St., Sutter Creek.