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Solid Team Effort Secures JV Shutout
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Making solid headway on the ground, Escalon's JV football team shut out the visiting Livingston Wolves on Friday, 34-0.

Head coach Randy Northcutt said the win was satisfying, since it keeps his team undefeated in league play.

"I was scared coming into this game," Northcutt admitted. "Last week, Livingston played Hilmar and got beat 6-0, on two field goals, and Hilmar had played us, 12-7."

With that in mind, and the fact that all teams bring their "A" game when it comes to playing the Cougars, Northcutt thought they would be in for more of a fight.

"I was kind of shocked, they only had 15 kids on their sideline," he added of Livingston. "I told the kids I wanted the game taken care of in the second quarter."

The JV Cougars responded, scoring 14 points in the second quarter, after connecting for 13 in the opening frame. That gave them a 27-0 lead at the half and the comfortable lead allowed Northcutt to start mixing in the second unit players throughout the second half, getting all players valuable time on the field.

"The whole team stood out to keep that shutout," Northcutt noted. "And our second unit scored in the third quarter."

In the first quarter, Josh May got the Cougars on the board with a 1-yard run and the kick by Christian Guillen was good for the 7-0 lead. Joey Machado, back after being hobbled by a knee injury last week, got healthy with a 43-yard touchdown scamper. That kick failed but the host JV team had a 13-0 lead after one quarter. Machado scored again on an 8-yard run, the kick was good, in the second and May went in on a 38-yard run to close out the first half scoring. Guillen's kick again was good to put the Cougars up, 27-0.

In the third quarter, with some of the second unit offensive line providing the push, quarterback Nick Aprile dove in from the 1-yard line for the score. Guillen's kick split the uprights to make it a 34-0 game.

"Everyone got good playing time," Northcutt said. "It was a good game to get us healthy."

In the game, Livingston had eight pass attempts and completed two for 10 yards, rushed the ball 29 times for 105 yards for a total of 115 yards of offense. Escalon completed one of two pass attempts for 12 yards, Trenton Doom pulling in the pass, and rushed 37 times for 277 yards, totaling 289 yards of offense on the night.

Leading rushers were May and Machado, each with 86 yards. May ran the ball 11 times, Machado six times. Eddie Nunes had eight carries for 38 yards, Heath Dougherty added four carries for 33 yards, Brian French had one carry for 17 and Steve Largent added two carries for 10 yards. Also getting carries were Aprile, Doom, Blake Mynear and Cody Cheary.

The JV Cougars wrap up their season at home on Friday, Nov. 12 with a game against Patterson and hope to defeat the Tigers to maintain at least a share of the league title with Ripon. Escalon and Ripon tied in their head-to-head meeting and that tie is the only blemish on the Cougars' record, now standing at 8-0-1.

"Everybody wants to play Escalon tough and right now we're undefeated," Northcutt said. "We have to get that one more big step...we will have a tough game Friday night against Patterson."

Northcutt added that the whole team was outstanding in the victory over Livingston, and he was glad to see the second unit get in for a good share of the contest.

"They're the ones we hit in practice all week," Northcutt said. "They're the ones that make us better.

"We had fun out there."

Kickoff for Friday night's season finale for the JV team is 5:30 p.m. at Engel Field.