Back at home for another contest, the freshman football Cougars continue to find ways to win. They hosted Chavez of Stockton on Thursday night, Sept. 28 and won the game by a 20-8 final. It was the only high school game for EHS this week, as the JV and varsity teams observed their bye week before starting Trans-Valley League play.
“On the opening drive Fabian Torres broke free on a 70-yard scoring run up the right sideline,” said head coach Mark Walden. “Miguel Sandoval made the extra point kick making it 7-0.”
Torres injured his lower leg on the run, however, and did not return to the game.
Forcing Chavez to punt on the ensuing drive, Escalon drove the ball down to the 20-yard line where Cristian Serrano scored on an off-tackle run to the left. Sandoval made the extra point kick making it 14-0.
Chavez struggled to move the ball and punted again early in the second quarter. Escalon drove again to inside the Chavez 20. Serrano scored again on another off-tackle run to the right side. The extra point was missed making it 20-0 at the half.
The third quarter was scoreless, neither team finding the end zone.
“In the fourth quarter Chavez would manage one score and a two-point conversion, making it 20-8,” said Walden.
Chavez attempted an onside kick but the attempt was covered nicely by Cole Murray. Escalon was then able to take time off the clock and secure the win.
It was another good win against a larger school, the coach said, but was also a tough one for the squad.
“Losing Torres early in the game really hurt our offense. He’s been a key player in our offense and we didn’t really have anyone who could replace his style of running,” Walden explained. “Cristian Serrano had to step up and play a larger role. Serrano responded well, scoring two touchdowns and breaking several long runs. Aidan Krieger also had to take up an increased role in the offense and he did a great job.”
Defensively, Krieger and Shane Campbell both had dominant performances.
“Landen Santos had to replace Torres defensively and also played very well. Santos had to step in at corner with minimal prep time against a team that likes to throw the ball,” noted Walden. “Santos did not give up a single pass completion and was involved in the running as well. It was a good win for us and we are still seeing more and more guys improving and contributing.”
Action on the home field continues for the freshmen this week, as they host Hilmar in a Thursday night game, Oct. 5 at 6 p.m.