The 2018 Escalon Outlaw varsity football season would open on a very warm August evening on Engel Field at Escalon High School. The visiting Tuolumne Jr. Bears would receive the opening kick-off. The Outlaws were on their collective heels during this season opening drive on defense. The Jr. Bears were able to march methodically down the field on a 78-yard drive to the end zone. The point after touchdown conversion run was stopped short of the goal line, but Tuolumne would have an early 6-0 advantage.
The remainder of the first quarter was spent exchanging possessions without scoring. The Outlaws answered the bell in the second quarter, building on a big tackle for loss by Donovan Rozevink on fourth down for the Jr. Bears.
On third and long, Rozevink was able to find an open Ayden Wilson, who gained the needed yards to extend the Escalon drive. Matthew Baptista broke free through the right side of the offensive line on a 20-yard scamper for a touchdown. The point after run was stopped shy of the goal line to make the score 6-6.
Escalon’s next possession would come after a turnover on downs. Owen Nash was able to break up a pass to a Tuolumne receiver who had gotten behind the Outlaw secondary on fourth down. Logan Anderson then was able to outrun the pursuing Tuolumne defenders on a sweep around the left end. The point after play was successful as Baptista ran through the right side of the offense. The Outlaws would push out in front 14-6.
Tuolumne scored just before half to trail 14-12. The Escalon defense would stiffen on the point after play stopping the Jr. Bears again shy of the goal.
Escalon would open the second half of play with the ball, but it would be short lived. Tuolumne forced an errant pass from Rozevink resulting in an interception. The Jr. Bears would take advantage of the turnover and a timely penalty to find their way into the Escalon end zone. The point after was stopped, but the damage was done giving Tuolumne the lead at 18-14.
Baptista, however, would return the ensuing kick-off 75 yards bouncing off would be tacklers, and out distancing the rest for the go-ahead score. Escalon would again convert the point after play as Ryker Peters plunged into the end zone through the left side of the offense making the score 22-18.
Tuolumne would have the ball twice more resulting in a turnover on downs and an interception by Wilson, with the Outlaws taking the win by the 22-18 final.
The Outlaws will be on the road next in Jackson to take on the Argonaut Jr. Mustangs.
The JV Outlaws would have to battle the stifling heat as well as a talented visiting team in Tuolumne. Escalon could not manage any momentum on the opening drive of the game, turning the ball over on downs to the Jr. Bears. Tuolumne would fumble away their first possession giving Escalon another chance on offense this time starting in Jr. Bears’ territory. A 1-yard Ruben Moreno dive into the end zone was set up by a 25-yard run by Jimmy Auble. Moreno would carry the ball into the end zone again on the point after touchdown giving Escalon an early 7-0 lead. Tuolumne would find the endzone before the halftime break but were unable to convert the point after play, trailing 7-6.
The score would remain the same until the beginning of the fourth quarter. Auble would break free around the right end to rumble 42 yards into the Tuolumne endzone. The point after would be stopped, but Escalon would extend their lead to 13-6.
Escalon would put together another scoring drive with punishing runs by Moreno, Auble and Jamin Miller. The offensive attack would result in a pounding 4-yard run into the endzone by Miller. The point after play would be stopped, and the score would reach its final 19-6 in favor of Escalon.
The Novice Outlaws met defeat during their season opener. The Tuolumne Jr. Bears posed more questions than the young Outlaws could answer. The Novice Outlaws would fall 20-6. The Jr. Bears would hold a 20-0 lead before the Outlaws could find the endzone. Jeremy Grivette would dash 45-yards through and around the Jr. Bears’ defense. The point after touchdown would be stopped making the score 20-6. Connor McDowell would cover a loose football giving Escalon one more chance on offense, but time would expire.
The Jr. Novice Outlaws have changed their league format this season. The youngest Outlaws will have the opportunity to compete in play-offs this season, should they qualify. The Outlaws have the fewest number on their roster, but with MVFL rule changes the youngest Outlaws get to compete, playing 7-on-7. The Outlaws would take the loss in the season debut, two scores to none. Benett Guevara, Ian Trejo, and Frank Carter showed that they will be up to the task this season as key players.