A game that saw Escalon’s JV boys down early ended up with the host Cougars on the right side of the football score when the final horn sounded, the squad putting away visiting Bret Harte, 43-6.
The contest was originally scheduled for Friday night, Sept. 11 in Angels Camp but due to the impact of the Butte Fire, the decision was made to relocate it to Escalon. Then the Friday night game was postponed until Monday night, the teams finally squaring off on Sept. 14 at Engel Field.
“Bret Harte scored first, on a long run, that was our only defensive breakdown of the game,” noted head coach Andrew Beam. “That was a 70-yard run but we held them to less than 100 yards total for the night.”
The visiting Bullfrogs had a 6-0 lead after the first quarter but they would not find the end zone again, while the JV Cougars would score two touchdowns in each of the next three quarters. They had a 15-6 lead at the break, 29-6 after three and 43-6 at the end.
Elliot Mello got Escalon on the board in the second quarter on a 5-yard run and Hugo Alcala gathered in the pass for the 2-point conversion from Steven Grossi for an 8-6 lead. Mark DeHaven went in on a 2-yard run later in the second quarter with Rodrigo DeMelo putting through the extra point for a 15-6 edge.
“In the third quarter, Rex Robbins scored on a 16-yard run,” Beam said. “Three plays later, Hugo Alcala had a 13-yard reception for a touchdown.”
The game was played with a small smattering of fans filling the visitor’s side, with roughly half the seats filled on the home side for the unusual Monday night kickoff.
Fourth quarter action saw a 2-yard run from DeHaven and a 4-yard run by Jake Lewis, DeMelo drilling the extra points on the final touchdowns of the night.
“Cuyler Crawford led us in tackles with eight,” Beam said. “I also thought Cole Gilbert and Jake Lewis played well on the defensive line and getting interceptions were Nick DeWeerd and Christian Brunetti.”
With a solid lead and the defense keeping the Bullfrogs in check, Beam said he was able to get all players in, including several freshmen he brought up for the contest.
“We started a little slow,” the coach admitted. “But we woke up in the second half.”
Penalties were a problem early, with 55 yards in miscues assessed against the JV squad, but they were able to play through them. Grossi connected on 5-of-11 pass attempts for 88 yards and a touchdown, Mello was the leading rusher with about 75 yards on the night.
“We got everybody in,” added Beam. “Everybody got some good playing time.”
With a rare second game this week, the JV team will be at Liberty Ranch in Galt for a 5:30 p.m. kickoff on Friday, Sept. 18.