Hosting Sonora on Friday night, Escalon’s JV football team came out on the wrong end of a 14-7 decision. The visiting Wildcats put two touchdowns on the board in the second quarter and made those two hold up for the win.
JV head coach Brant Rose said a couple of breaks that went the Wildcats’ way proved to be the difference.
“We fumbled and on the next play, they got a 55-yard pass completion to the six-yard line,” Rose explained of Sonora’s first scoring drive. “Then they completed the six-yard pass and the kick was good for them to go up 7-0.”
Escalon looked to get the points back but it was another miscue that put them in an even deeper hole.
“Four plays later we throw a pick six from 55 yards out and what was a 0-0 game pretty close to half turned in to us being down 14-0,” Rose said. “They were pretty stunned.”
Going into halftime down by two scores, the JV boys also faced the prospect of Sonora getting the second half kickoff. Rose said the team knew they couldn’t allow the Wildcats to score on that opening drive and fall further behind.
“They did drive to our 25 but then we forced a fumble,” the coach explained. “Our drive then covered 75 yards and Christian Tinoco went in on a six-yard run, Andres Beltran made the kick and it was 14-7.”
But once Sonora got the ball back, they went on a drive that consumed plenty of the clock, including converting on three third-and-10 plays to keep the ball moving.
“We had opportunities,” Rose said of not taking advantage of chances in the contest. “Give Sonora a lot of credit, they were physical and they came in with a good game plan.”
Escalon had just 183 total yards of offense with JP Lial the leading rusher, 14 carries for 48 yards. Tinoco had three carries for 12 yards and a score, quarterback Tyler Medina completed six passes for 59 yards.
“We just couldn’t get our defense off the field,” added Rose. “This was a big learning lesson for the rest of the season; you have to capitalize on your opportunities.”
The JV boys head to Downey for a 5 p.m. kickoff on Friday night, Sept. 13 to close out the preseason schedule.
A field goal in the final two minutes of the game saw the youngest Cougar boys take a 15-13 loss on the road Thursday, Sept. 5.
Head coach Joey Costa said his team did have an early scoring drive in the contest against Sonora but hurt themselves with some bad field position in the second half. The score was 7-6 at the half, so it was anybody’s game; their opponent just played a little bit better in the third and fourth quarters to get the win.
“We had a bad turnover,” Costa added of giving host Sonora a chance in the second half.
Mauricio Acevedo scored both touchdowns for the freshmen, going in from 30 and 18 yards on rushing plays. Javier Gutierrez hit one of the two extra point attempts.
“He was also one of our defensive leaders,” Costa said of Gutierrez.
Also getting high marks on defense was Ayden Wilson while Ryker Peters had a solid game on both sides of the ball.
“He’s a fullback, he led the team in rushing and played good defense,” said Costa.
The coach said his team has been in their games so far this season but need to limit mistakes at crucial times. Often, he said, they stop themselves by running wrong plays or just not making the right decision.
“We have to learn how to finish,” the coach said.
The team will host Los Banos on Thursday, Sept. 12 with a 6 p.m. kickoff time.