By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Varsity Cougars Thrash Bullfrogs, 56-7
Junior Hunter Calton, 24, gets a bead on the Bret Harte quarterback in a non-league contest at Engel Field on Friday. The Cougars came up big, winning 56-7. - photo by Marg Jackson/The Times

Eight touchdowns, multiple players breaking into the end zone, and a chance for the second and third units to get on the field for significant playing time added up to a 56-7 varsity football win on Friday.

The Cougars hosted the Bret Harte Bullfrogs and showed no mercy in getting on the board quickly and efficiently, putting the game away in the first half. There was a running clock in the second half, as Escalon built up a 49-0 advantage by halftime.

“The starting group came out with fire and got the job done,” coach Mark Loureiro said, noting that it was a game in which he wanted to have everyone get a chance to play. “That was the key, getting all the kids into the mix.”

Escalon scored three touchdowns in the first quarter and four more in the second, leaving the Bullfrogs high and dry.

“It was a little bit of everything,” Loureiro said of the attack. “Caleb Mullen was 3-for-3 in passing with three touchdowns, 12 kids carried the ball, the offensive line controlled the line of scrimmage.”

Christian May rushed three times for 60 yards, Luis Estrada in the second group had seven carries for 55 yards and Wesley Dick had eight carries for 54 yards.

First quarter scoring saw A.J. Camarena pull in an 8-yard pass from Mullen for the score, May go in on an 18-yard run and Brandon Grogan scoring on a 39-yard pass play. David Martinez added the point after each time for a 21-0 lead after one. In the second quarter, Camarena scored on a 9-yard run, Sam Lattig on a 66-yard pass play down the left sideline for the score, Dick on a 2-yard run and Travis Nascimento on a 2-yard run, with the kick each time by Martinez. That made it 49-0 Escalon and the Cougars got a 1-yard touchdown plunge from Trenton Busch in the third quarter, kick good, to make it 56-7.

Bret Harte broke through in the fourth quarter to avoid the shutout.

“All the kids played well, we had good energy from the second kids, guys like Gus Munoz, Luis Estrada, Trenton Busch, Hunter Calton, these are guys that go hard in practice and it was good to see them get on the field.”

Camarena had nine tackles, Matthew Gallego and Dustin Lawrence added four each.

“It feels awesome to be a part of this,” said Lattig, electrifying the crowd with his sideline catch and touchdown run.

Nascimento, who had a touchdown on the night, was also happy to see the second and third unit players come in for significant time.

“It feels great,” he added of the big win.

Back-up quarterback JoJo Dutra said he was happy to step in and start taking the snaps after Mullen went out for the night.

“I felt really comfortable, coach does a good job getting me some reps in practice,” he said.

Busch, breaking through with a touchdown for the second unit, was also happy to contribute but was quick to share the credit.

“The blockers did an excellent job tonight,” Busch said. “It was a lot of fun, I had some good runs.”

Escalon had 431 total yards, 318 rushing and 113 passing, amassing 18 first downs on the night and penalized just once for 15 yards.

Bret Harte had 157 total yards, 112 on the ground and 45 in the air, with one interception (May) and nine first downs. They had four penalties for 20 yards.

This week, the Cougars host Liberty Ranch for Homecoming, with kickoff about 7:30 p.m.