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Total Team Effort Lifts Cougars To Win Over Rams
Coming home from a long road trip with a 45-3 win in hand, Escalon's varsity football team got contributions from everyone as they upended host Dixon on Friday, Sept. 24.

"We started subbing freely mid second quarter, we were pretty efficient with our first group," head coach Mark Loureiro said.

The starters went about their business, getting some points on the board, then handed the game off to the second and third units, with those team members getting some quality playing time.

Escalon had two touchdowns in the first quarter and added four more in the second, building up a 42-0 lead at the half. Dixon got on the board with a field goal in the third quarter, Escalon matched that in the fourth for the 45-3 final.

Loureiro was very satisfied with the solid effort.

"Our seconds and thirds got tons of playing time and they did good," he explained. "This was a good bounce back win (following a loss to Patterson) and the kids did it in convincing fashion."

With tough games the past couple of weeks, against Linden and Patterson, Loureiro hadn't been able to give his starters much of a break. This week, he had that chance and the subs definitely made the most of their playing time.

"We hope the same thing continues this week," said Loureiro, noting that the team will head to Riverbank to kick off Trans-Valley League play and will face a team that is struggling with both numbers and injuries.

In the game at Dixon, the Cougars got on the board in the first quarter on a 46-yard sweep by Josh Miguel with the extra point sent through the uprights by Gino Franceschetti. On the next possession by Dixon, it was Daniel Alcantor who stepped in front of a Dixon pass and picked it off, returning it 23 yards for the touchdown.

"He's a lineman and he's had two touchdowns this year, I can't remember a time when that has happened in Escalon," Loureiro pointed out.

The kick was good by Franceschetti for the early 14-0 Cougar advantage.

The offense continued to click in the second quarter, Franceschetti hitting Brandon Shaw on a picture perfect crossing pattern from 26 yards out for the touchdown. The kick was good to make it 21-0.

"We just controlled the game on defense," Loureiro said, noting that the tough Cougar 'd' forced a Dixon punt on the next possession and Miguel was able to break a 65-yard runback for the score on the punt. Franceschetti's kick was good for the 28-0 lead.

After another defensive stop, it was Miguel going in from 3 yards out on the next Cougar drive, the kick was good, 35-0.

Capping the scoring in the first half, Adrian Cortes found the end zone after a 20-yard run and Franceschetti added the kick for the 42-0 advantage.

Dixon finally got on the board in the third quarter on a 41-yard field goal to avoid the shutout.

"In the mid fourth quarter, we drove the length of the field and Gino hit a field goal from 36 yards," Loureiro said, with that making it a 45-3 victory for the visiting Cougars.

"In our first group, Josh Miguel had seven carries for 101 yards and three touchdowns, Adrian Cortes had nine carries for 72 yards and a touchdown," said Loureiro. "James Hill ran well, four carries for 48 yards and in the second group, Dylan Furtado had nine carries for 41 yards, he was the workhorse of that second group."

Helping Furtado were Chris Kowalski, Steven Hazen and Alex Stober on the offensive line, getting the push, while Dominic Louro had the chance to quarterback the team in the second half. He played some at that position last year on the JV team and Loureiro said it was good game experience for the junior under center.

"He jumped into that role and did very well," said Loureiro.

Defensive leaders on the night were Gilberto Mancilla with nine tackles, Shane Silveira with five tackles and one sack, Noel Najera with five tackles, Dylan Cathcart and Nate Caton adding one sack each. Loureiro also pointed to solid play from Jeromy Jimenez, Mark Ceniceros and Colton Smith as being a highlight of the game.

Escalon had 11 first downs on the night to five for Dixon and the Cougars had 351 yards, Dixon 88. Escalon rushed 44 times for 277 yards and completed two-of-three pass attempts for 74 yards. They were penalized two times for 20 yards.

Dixon rushed 28 times for 59 yards and completed 5-of-9 pass attempts for 29 yards with one interception. They lost one of four fumbles and were penalized seven times for 60 yards.

Loureiro said the victory was a total team win, with those players that work hard every week in practice getting their turn to shine on the playing field.


This week, the Cougars get on the bus for the short trip to Riverbank, facing off with the Bruins in Trans-Valley League action. Escalon had a bye week in league for the first week, so Riverbank has already started its TVL schedule. The Bruins lost to Modesto Christian in a Sept. 24 game.

"We jump into league play against a team that has been struggling through this year," Loureiro said.

The Bruins have taken some tough injuries and again are down in numbers, with head coach Aaron Thurman working hard to raise the level of the program. It has been tough going this season, with the Bruins yet to grab a victory.

The coach said he's not even sure at this point who will be taking the field for the Bruins, unsure of the starting line up.

Escalon will be looking to nail down its first league victory in what they hope will be a successful TVL campaign.

"We're going in there, try to stay healthy, gear up for the league run," Loureiro said.

The JV team will start Friday night action off at 5:30 p.m. and the varsity game follows at about 7:30 p.m. at Angelo Novi Field in Riverbank.