Escalon’s youth football varsity Outlaws were home again on Saturday, Sept. 9 to host the Hughson Huskies and try to extend their winning streak to three games. Escalon has been building on the momentum of two previous wins at Engel Field. Hughson was looking to improve their record to 2-2, while Escalon had a chance to improve to 3-1 with a piece of the season lead on the line.
Hughson received the opening kick-off and on the first play from scrimmage, the Huskies struck. Hughson took advantage of an early blitz, exploiting a hole on the defensive right. The Hughson running back raced 70 yards to the end zone. The point after kick was missed giving the Huskies a very early 6-0 lead. The Outlaws offense struggled to gain any traction punting on all three of their early possessions.
The momentum would swing over to the Escalon sideline at the end of the first quarter. The shift started with a defensive trifecta by Garrison Gerber. Gerber would sack the Husky quarterback, strip the ball, causing a fumble and recover the ball giving Escalon possession. It would be one more possession before the Outlaws took the ball steadily down the field. The ground assault from Christian Tinoco, EJ Lewis and JP Lial would prove to be too much for the Hughson defense. The offensive line of Nathan Chavez, Gerber, Sebastian Snow, Anthony White, Austin Roberts, Tyler Medina, and Tate Christensen kept the Huskies on their heels and moving backwards while the running backs attacked. The Outlaws would mark the scoreboard as time expired for the first half of play. Lial would plunge in from four yards out through the left side. The point after kick was converted by Lial and the Outlaws would take an 8-6 lead into the halftime break.
The second half of play would start just as the first half ended. Lial and Lewis toted the ball for a majority of the drive ending with quarterback Josh Miller calling his own number, stepping three yards through the middle of the Hughson defense across the goal line. The point after kick was blocked, but the Outlaws would extend their lead to 14- 6. Hughson could not answer after the two wearing, physical drives by the Outlaws.
The fourth quarter would see more of the same action with Escalon dominating on the ground. Escalon would add to their lead on a three-yard run by Lewis dragging tacklers from the Hughson defensive left across the goal line with him. This run was set up by a 25-yard pass from Miller to Tinoco on third down and long. The point after kick by Lial would be true sending the score to 22-6.
Hughson tried to mount one last assault, but a forced fumble recovered by Medina would put the game on ice. Escalon would run out the game clock and tuck the victory away.
The Outlaws will be celebrating their Homecoming next weekend as they host Linden Jr. Lions. The Outlaws will try to exact revenge for the lone loss of the season that occurred while visiting the same Jr. Lions four weeks ago.
The Jr. Varsity Outlaws wanted to bounce back from the loss of the previous week to Waterford, and improve their record to 3-1. A win would keep them in a tie for second place in the early standings. Hughson wanted to even their record with a win while visiting Engel Field.
It did not take long for the JV Outlaws to show that they meant business. Donovan Rozevink connected with Caleb Cavanaugh on the second play from scrimmage. Cavanaugh raced past the Hughson defense for the 40-yard score. The point after kick was converted by Jacob Martin giving Escalon the early 8-0 lead. Hughson would answer with a drive of their own with their first possession of the ball. The point after kick would not be converted, but they did close the deficit to 8-6.
Escalon would extend their lead with Cavanaugh squeezing through the left side from eight yards out. The point after kick was again true by Martin pushing the Escalon lead to 16-6. Ruben Moreno would recover a Hughson fumble sending the Outlaws on another offensive drive.
Hughson would try to match the Outlaws, but a defensive stop on fourth down and short yardage led by CJ Miller would give the ball back to Escalon. Jamin Miller would take the ball on the very next play from scrimmage and rumble 42 yards into the end zone. The point after kick was not converted, but the Escalon lead grew to 22-6.
Before the first half would end Rozevink would find Cavanaugh once again. The pair would connect from 13 yards out. The point after kick was blocked, but the lead still grew to 28-6. Escalon would add one more score on a two-yard plunge by Colton Page. The addition of a good point after kick sent the score to its final of 36-6.
The young Outlaws were looking to bounce back from the heartbreaking loss in overtime to Waterford last week. This week’s contest would prove to be just as taxing on both teams. The first half was a defensive struggle, with neither team able to do much to move the ball, or gain momentum.
In the third quarter Hayden McPherson would step in front of a Hughson receiver for his second interception of the day. McPherson would race 50 yards toward the Hughson end zone only to be stopped at the 10-yard line. The Escalon offense would take advantage cashing in two plays later on an Austin Cullum rush from seven yards out. The point after conversion was stopped, but the Outlaws were on the board leading 6-0. The third quarter would end with a fumble recovery by Cruz Snow.
The young Outlaws could not make anything out of the turnover opportunity, giving the ball back to Hughson with a turnover on downs. Escalon could not keep Hughson off of the scoreboard. The Hughson ball carrier scurried around the right end and down the sideline outdistancing the Escalon defense for a 65-yard touchdown. The Outlaws’ defense would hold on the point after conversion, keeping the score even at 6-6.
The game would go into an overtime period where both teams would be given four downs to score from the 10-yard line. If the score remained tied each team would be given another chance. Hughson would score on their attempt, but the point after conversion would be stopped giving Hughson a slim edge, 12-6. Escalon would use all four downs before David White would scamper in from six yards out on a broken pass play. Cullum would push in from three yards for the point after conversion sealing the victory for the Outlaws 13-12.
After three weeks of struggle, the youngest Outlaws were able to receive some positive feedback on the field during their exhibition Saturday afternoon. All of the boys deserve to be recognized as they play 10-on-10 football without any substitutes. Griffin Gerber, Benett Guevara, Tristan Rodriguez, Oscar Lopez, Ethan Butler, Conner McDowell, Cole McDowell, Leo Marrufo, Noah Dooley, and Ethan Tellez all work to improve to make sure they are ready to compete when given the chance at the higher levels.