When the varsity Escalon Outlaws met the Ripon Chiefs on Saturday night there was more on the line than just another addition to the long rivalry between the two teams, but the #1 Seed in the Valley Division of the Mother Lode Valley Youth Football League. Both teams were entering the contest undefeated.
The first quarter ended as it had started in a 0-0 tie. The second quarter would bring a bulk of the action. Ripon was starting to gain traction with their offense, but would be stopped and forced to punt. Jacob Walden was able to block the punt swinging the brief momentum gained by Ripon back to the Outlaws’ sideline. Escalon would capitalize with a scoring drive that culminated in a 1-yard plunge into the end zone by Colton Panero.
The Outlaws stepped up the defensive pressure on the Chiefs’ quarterback during Ripon’s next possession. Walden and Damien Tom hounded the Ripon signal caller nearly sacking him on consecutive pass attempts, forcing another punt. Two plays after the punt Escalon found the end zone again. Kaden Christensen connected with Walden on a 41-yard strike down the left sideline. Walden streaked past the defensive back as the ball barely fit in as the defensive safety closed in. After the point after touchdown kick by Fabian Torres, Escalon would extend its lead to 14-0.
The two teams would again play a full quarter to a stalemate as neither team could move the ball effectively. Escalon was able to scratch another tally on the scoreboard by means of a 26-yard scamper through and around the Ripon defense by Panero.
The Outlaws were able to shut down the potent Ripon offense. P.J. Flores, Noah Rast and Panero stymied the Ripon rushing attack while Christensen, Shane Johnson, Kaidence Trejo, Miguel Souza, and Garrett Nash blanketed the Ripon receivers.
The Outlaws are scheduled to meet the #4 Seed next week.
The Junior Varsity Outlaws stepped onto the field to secure the #1 Seed in the Valley Division play-offs, and preserve their undefeated season. The Jr. Varsity Ripon Chiefs had other plans for the outcome of the game.
Ripon would score first, but Escalon would answer quickly with a 65-yard run by Daniel Corral sweeping around the right end. Escalon missed the point after touchdown closing the score to 8-6 in Ripon’s favor. Ripon would pour on the offensive pressure. The Escalon defense had few answers as Ripon pushed the score to 30-6.
Escalon was able to cash in a late score as time expired in the fourth quarter on a 20-yard pass from Ty Harris to Logan Webster. The score ended 30-12 in Ripon’s favor.
The setback of the loss sends the Outlaws into a three-way tie atop the Valley Division standings with the Ripon Chiefs and the Salida Steelers.
The Novice Outlaws took the field in an effort to keep the faint play-off hopes alive. The Outlaws presented little opposition to the far more talented Ripon Chiefs. Escalon took risks to neutralize the biggest offensive threat, but the risks proved costly.
The young Outlaws showed promise with Gideon Gerber recording a sack of the quarterback and Alfonso Gonzalez continued his effort to help his team succeed.
Escalon was able to sustain one offensive drive with hard running by Gonzalez, Ryker Peters, Caleb Cavanaugh and Jamin Miller. The drive would stall inside the Ripon 20-yard line.
In the end Ripon had Escalon outmatched in all facets. When all was said and done the scoreboard read Ripon 42, Escalon 0.