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Shutout Win For JV Cougars In Football Season Opener
JV 7 tackle
Working to bring down the ball carrier is Escalon’s Alex Huynh, 7, in action during the junior varsity game on Friday night. The young Cougars were victorious over visiting Union Mine, 41-0. Marg Jackson/The Times
JV 33 rush
Finding some running room around the side, Matthew Baptista, 33, picks up some positive yardage in the second half against Union Mine to help the JV Cougars to a season opening win on the home field. Marg Jackson/The Times

Balanced scoring lifted the Escalon junior varsity football team to a win over visiting Union Mine on Friday night, Aug. 23.

The host JV Cougars got on the board with 14 points in the opening quarter, added six in the second for a 20-0 halftime lead. They were a point better in the second half, with two more touchdowns in the third quarter and a touchdown with the extra point in the fourth for a 41-0 shutout victory.

“This was classic physical Escalon football,” said JV head coach Brant Rose.

He added that the Wing-T style plays well into the scheme of his team’s offensive strengths.

“It’s working,” Rose said. “You know, ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’.”

The smashmouth style of play put the visiting Diamondbacks on their heels and the JV squad rolled to the win.

JP Lial got the scoring started on a 3-yard run in the first quarter, followed by a 28-yard scoring run from Logan Anderson. Kicker Andres Beltran added the extra point on both scores for a 14-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Matthew Baptista found the end zone after a 22-yard run in the second quarter but the extra point attempt failed. That still put the home team up by a 20-0 margin at the half.

In the third quarter, it was Lial going in on a 26-yard run, the 2-point conversion attempt failed; followed by a 55-yard scramble for the score from Austin Roberts, with the team converting this time on the 2-point attempt to go up 34-0.

The final touchdown of the night came in the fourth quarter on a 10-yard run from Roberts; the kick was good for the 41-0 final.

Quarterback Tyler Medina connected on a huge third down conversion that kept a drive alive, getting the 6-yard pass to EJ Lewis, and was 2-for-5 on the night. The bulk of the game was played on the ground by the Cougars, with the formula proving to be successful.

“Our running game was what we were hoping it would be,” Rose said.

Defensively, he was also proud of the effort he saw on the field.

“They have a pretty great JV quarterback, he can run, he can throw, he has a strong arm,” Rose noted of Union Mine. “But we kept them under 150 total yards of offense.”

Preston Ball had three sacks and dominated on defense for the JV team.

Offensively, Lial had 13 carries for 130 yards and two touchdowns to lead the team. Baptista was 9-for-86 with a touchdown, Roberts had three carries for 75 yards and two scores while Anderson had a touchdown with four carries for 40 yards.

“We have a pretty deep backfield,” Rose said. “We had 378 yards of offense and 362 of that was rushing. It was a very good win.”