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Strong Second Half Leads JV Cougars To Victory
Up just 19-14 at the half, the JV football Cougars kept host Hughson off the scoreboard over the third and fourth quarters and took a win on the road, 33-14.

"We didn't play very well in the first half," noted coach Randy Northcutt. "We couldn't tackle well and three big rushing plays (by Hughson) killed us. The second half, we came out and played excellent."

It took the JV team a little while to get into the flow of the game, Northcutt said, with this contest marking the biggest one they have played in so far this season.

"Just the level of play and the rivalry, this is the oldest rivalry in the area, Hughson and Escalon," Northcutt said of his team having to step it up, with the Hughson JV ready to roll from the start.

"They came to play in a big game."

Josh Miguel started the scoring for Escalon with an 11-yard run and Gino Franceschetti kicked the point after for a 7-0 lead. Hughson followed with a 53-yard run but the kick failed, making it 7-6.

In the second quarter, quarterback Brandon Shaw found the end zone after a 4-yard run, the kick failed, so the Cougars went up 13-6.

Hughson again answered, this time on an 84-yard run, with the 2-point conversion a success. That gave the host team a 14-13 lead.

Capping the first half scoring, Kyle Rose went in from 5 yards out and the Cougars tried the 2-point play but were stopped, heading into the locker room with the 19-14 edge.

"In the second half, Kyle Rose started carrying the ball well, we started making tackles, we played like we needed to play," Northcutt said.

Miguel was solid defensively for the JV squad, while David Gonzales had four sacks and Trey Balber and Shane Silveira added one sack each.

"Victor Carrillo, a guard and linebacker, did a great job on both sides of the ball," Northcutt said. "And Josh Miguel had a big interception at the 5-yard line to stop a drive."

The JV boys also recovered two Hughson fumbles.

Second half scoring came on a 45-yard pass play from Shaw to Miguel in the third quarter with Franceschetti adding the kick for a 26-14 lead. They added the final touchdown in the fourth quarter, Shaw taking it in from 6 yards out and the kick good for the 33-14 final.

"They couldn't stop us on the run," Northcutt said of his Cougars getting past the Huskies. "When they did, we threw over top of them, Shaw had a good game for us, he ran the offense well, had no interceptions."

Hughson rushed 25 times for 200 yards and completed seven of nine passes for 66 yards for a total of 266 yards of offense on the night. Miguel pulled down one interception.

Escalon had 49 rushing plays for 249 yards and Shaw completed five of 18 pass attempts for 92 yards with a touchdown, for a total of 92 yards. Miguel had two catches for 50 yards, James Hill one catch for 13 yards, Hawkins one catch for 12 and Colton Smith one catch for 17.

Rushing leaders were Rose, 17 carries for 76 yards; Miguel, 11-for-69; Shaw, 7-for-38; Adrian Cortes, 10-for-36; and Hill, 3-for-30.

Recovering fumbles for Escalon were Tony Vincent and Franceschetti.

Though Hughson kept it close for the first two quarters, Northcutt said he was pleased with the effort from his team, especially as they took control of the contest in the second half. He added that the win was a total team effort.

"This was a big game for those young kids," he said.

The JV boys have a bye this week, as Riverbank no longer fields a JV squad. They will be back in action at Engel Field for a Friday, Nov. 7 game against Modesto Christian.