Modesto Christian no longer fields a junior varsity football team so Escalon’s JV was able to get Sierra to come to town on Friday night.
The Valley Oak League team, out of Manteca, took a hard-fought 14-7 win off the field from Escalon, with the JV boys unable to take down the larger school opponent to kick off the Homecoming contests.
“It was disappointing but that was a tough Valley Oak League team and we were in the game for the whole game,” said Escalon JV head coach Brant Rose. “I felt like the score should have been different, they were so much faster than us, but I’m proud of the guys.”
In the first quarter, Sierra scored on a 15-yard touchdown pass with the kick good to take a 7-0 lead.
“In the second quarter, we scored with about 10 seconds left,” Rose said. “We scored on a two-yard run from Christian Tinoco, with Andres Beltran adding the kick.”
That put the teams into halftime knotted at 7-7. Rose said the JV team took advantage of good field position on a bad snap by the visitors on a punt late in the half, converting that into the touchdown.
“We were getting the ball to open the second half,” he added of trying to keep the momentum.
But their drive stalled and Sierra came back with a scoring drive, capping it with a 28-yard pass play for a touchdown. The kick was good for the 14-7 advantage and neither team would get into the end zone again.
“We had several key players go down in the first half that didn’t return,” Rose said of losing both Tinoco and Matthew Baptista for the second half. “It was tough, losing two in a row, losing on Homecoming, now we just need to come back and get wins.”
The team will look to get healthy and back on the winning track when they welcome Riverbank in to Engel Field on Friday, Oct. 11 for a 5 p.m. kickoff.
The youngest football Cougars traveled to Los Banos on Thursday, Oct. 3 and fell behind 19-0 by halftime. The final score was 33-13 in favor of the host Tigers.
“Both our touchdowns were by Ryker Peters,” said coach Joey Costa. “We got tough defense from Christian Rowe and Ayden Wilson.”
Down just 19-13 entering the fourth quarter, Costa said Los Banos capitalized on a big play to extend the lead and basically put the game out of reach.
“I’m proud of the way they fought,” Costa said of his team. “Down 19-0, they could have put their heads down and not played but they didn’t; they didn’t give up.”
Looking for a victory, the freshmen will host the Pacheco Panthers on Thursday, Oct. 10 with kickoff scheduled for 6 p.m.