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Shutout Victory Starts Season Off Strong For Varsity Cougars
It wasn't the sharpest performance, but it was good enough to get the win.

Escalon's varsity football team hosted second year school Cosumnes Oaks out of Elk Grove on Friday night, sending the visitors away with a 35-0 loss.

"We played in spurts," agreed head coach Mark Loureiro. "Sometimes we executed and played cleanly but the penalties concerned me, we had 10 penalties and we fumbled four times, we lost one of them.

"When we were clean, we looked pretty good and you could see the kids getting better as the game went on."

Escalon scored in every quarter, with one touchdown in the first, third and fourth quarters, two in the second. Cosumnes Oaks was never able to get too much going offensively against a tough Cougar defense, which allowed just four first downs to the Wolfpack all night.

"The defense controlled the game," noted Loureiro. "We held them to 60 total yards."

Steve Silva got Escalon on the board in the first quarter, going in from 2 yards out with 3:58 to play. Jason Diniz tacked on the extra point for the 7-0 lead.

In the second quarter, nice gains by Diniz and Josh Miguel set up another Silva touchdown, from a yard out, with the point after by Diniz. With just seconds remaining in the first half, Diniz got in from a yard out after Miguel set up the score with a huge run. Diniz got the score and the point after to give the Cougars a 21-0 halftime edge.

"Offensively, we had a couple of chances to put them away early," Loureiro said of keeping Cosumnes Oaks at bay. "We controlled the line of scrimmage and we had a balanced attack."

Some first game jitters for the juniors that have made the move up to varsity may have accounted for the occasionally sloppy play but Loureiro said the squad knows those are mistakes they will have to clean up for the rest of the season.

"We're still trying to find ourselves," he admitted.

Silva got his third touchdown of the night in the third quarter, scoring from a yard out with 3:24 to play, Diniz added the kick to make it 28-0. Capping the scoring with a fourth quarter touchdown run was Colin Keener, getting in with 7:12 to play in the game. Diniz put in the point after for the 35-0 final.

"Overall we had a total of 416 yards," Loureiro said. "Silva led us with 16 rushes for 146 yards, Josh Miguel had 79 yards and Diniz had 70 so we were pretty balanced."

Quarterback Spencer Franceschetti completed four-of-eight passes for 43 yards, hooking up with Nick Largent, Diniz, Miguel and David Pickhartz.

Loureiro said there were many positives to take away from the contest, especially the fact that they were able to shut out a team when they didn't have their best game. That, he said, is something to build on for the rest of the preseason and on in to Trans-Valley League play.


This week, it will be the Patterson Tigers playing host to Escalon in a crucial preseason contest.

"These are our two toughest games, week 2 (Patterson) and week 3 (Buhach Colony)," Loureiro said. "Patterson is coming off a 42-0 win over McClatchy ... they'll be ready for us down there."

Head coach Rob Cozart leads the Tigers into battle. Team colors are red and white and the Tigers play in the WAC, Western Athletic Conference.

Leading players are quarterback Cody Weinzheimer, 6-0, 190, who completed 10-of-13 passes in his debut Friday night, amassing 177 yards in the air. Top receiver is Wyatt Young, 5-7, 155 and leading the ground attack is running back Nate Shelton, 5-9, 185.

Top linemen are Hola Tupouata, 5-11, 230 and Adrian Laurel, 5-11, 200.

"They've switched to a shotgun formation so they throw about 80 percent of the time, do a lot of play action passes," Loureiro said. "This will be a good game on the road for us, a tough one without a doubt."