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Visiting Hilmar Takes Win Over Freshmen
Escalons Jaden Fontes, 33, tries to keep his balance and keep moving forward while being wrapped up by the Hilmar defense on Thursday night. Marg Jackson/The Times

After turning the ball over to Hilmar, deep in Escalon territory, on back-to-back fumbles that put Hilmar into scoring position twice, the visiting Yellowjackets took advantage of Escalon miscues and jumped out to a 13-0 lead in the first quarter on Thursday night, Oct. 5.

The Escalon freshman football team fell in the contest, 26-21, battling back from the early deficit before ultimately losing to Hilmar.

“Midway through the second quarter, Escalon put together a long scoring drive which ended with a very tough 10-yard touchdown run by Jaden Fontes,” said head coach Mark Walden. “The extra point kick was made by Miguel Sandoval, bringing the score to 13-7.”

With just 20 seconds left in the second quarter, Hilmar completed a 60-yard pass for a touchdown, increasing the lead to 19-7. Escalon’s safety had an opportunity to make a big play by intercepting that pass but missed it by just inches; Hilmar capitalized by finding the end zone.

In the second half, the Escalon defense held Hilmar to one more score, Walden said of keeping the contest within reach.

“In the fourth quarter a long catch and run by Aidan Krieger set up a 20-yard touchdown run by Cristian Serrano,” said the coach. “With another good extra point kick by Sandoval, the score was 26-14.”

On the ensuing drive Escalon forced another Hilmar punt. From there Krieger broke a long off tackle run setting up another score by Serrano.

With two minutes left in the game Escalon had brought the score within five points, 26-21.

The young Cougars attempted an onside kick but it was unsuccessful. Hilmar was able to retain possession of the ball and the final score was 26-21.

“Of course the team was disappointed to lose the game but I was really proud of the way they fought back,” Walden added. “We were down 26-7 in the fourth quarter and managed to bring it to within five points. Lots of teams would’ve shut down if behind by that much in the fourth, but our guys continued fighting. To see a freshman group fight like that is very promising for the future of Escalon football.”

This week, the freshmen host Argonaut in a 6 p.m. game Thursday, Oct. 12.