By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Varsity Cougars Dodge Huskies, Raindrops In Road Win
In a contest where the weather could have been the equalizer, Escalon's varsity football team put together one of their best defensive efforts of the season. The end result was a 34-0 shutout win on the road at Hughson.

"I thought we were a little sloppy on offense, the conditions got to us," admitted coach Mark Loureiro, who said he hadn't adequately prepared for the steady rain and muddy conditions.

"We got caught," he said. "I didn't have a game plan ready for those types of conditions."

Loureiro said he thought the storm would hold off and went in with the traditional scheme in mind. The Cougars were able to make it work, with some help from the defense.

"We played really great defense," agreed Loureiro. "We just smothered them defensively and I was pretty confident they weren't going to score."

Tony Vincent was once again a monster on defense, with nine tackles and four sacks. Victor Carrillo had nine tackles, Nate Caton had five tackles and two sacks. James Hill had a 28-yard touchdown on an interception return and Josh Miguel had a fumble recovery that he took 45 yards for a touchdown. Paul Quiroz had a fumble recovery late in the game, as the defense held the host Huskies to 64 total yards of offense.

Escalon scored in every quarter, with a steady rain falling the entire first half. Conditions improved somewhat in the second half, with the rain letting up, but the field was in rough shape.

First quarter scoring came on an 11-yard run from Josh Miguel with the kick good by Gino Franceschetti, then Miguel recovered a fumble and ran it back for the score with the kick good as well.

Second quarter, the defense recovered a fumble as the Huskies were driving, getting it at the 9-yard line and Miguel broke one for 91 yards and the score, with the kick good, to put the Cougars in command at the half, 21-0.

In the third quarter, Hill returned his interception for the score and in the fourth, Adrian Cortes broke through on a 3-yard run with the point after attempt good for the 34-0 advantage.

"Hughson played good defense, they did a nice job, the slow, muddy field suited them better than us," Loureiro said.

The Huskies hit hard and were giving 100 percent throughout the game, they just didn't have enough ammunition to wear down the Cougars.

"Josh Miguel had 15 carries for 200 yards, he can beat you in so many ways," Loureiro noted of the junior's work on offense and defense. "The line blocked well."

Escalon had 10 first downs on the night to Hughson's three and had 269 total yards of offense to Hughson's 64. The Cougars rushed 44 times for 253 yards and had one pass completion for 16 yards. They were penalized five times for 50 yards and lost one of three fumbles. Hughson had 35 rushes for 32 yards and completed two passes for 32 yards. They were penalized four times for 35 yards and lost two fumbles.

"We got out of there healthy and all the kids played," Loureiro said.


While the Homecoming game against Orestimba was big, this week's battle with Hilmar is even bigger. The Yellowjackets, green and gold, come in to Engel Field with a single Trans-Valley League loss on their record. The Cougars could stake their claim to the league title with a win, while the Yellowjackets will look to take that away.

"We've got to dial it up for Hilmar," Loureiro agreed. "They've had some injuries this season but they're going to be 100 percent healthy against us."

Coach Frank Marques has the Hilmar squad at 4-1 in league play, 6-3 overall and coming off a huge 54-0 win against Orestimba.

They will come in both with a rushing and a passing attack, said Loureiro, able to play with two different offensive looks. Depending on the weather, one may work better than the other. Hilmar is led by senior running back/defensive back Isaac Diaz, 5-5, 140 and running back/linebacker Nate Azevedo, 5-10, 165. Center and defensive lineman Anthony Diaz, 5-8, 200 is one of the anchors on the defense, along with linebackers Garrett Jericoff, 5-9, 180 and Trent Goiburn, 6-2, 230. Jericoff is also a running back, Goiburn is a tight end.

"This has been a great rivalry for us," Loureiro said of facing off in the past with Hilmar.

Returning to the Trans-Valley League, the Cougars will look to welcome the Yellowjackets back to Escalon by handing them a loss. But they'll have to have their best overall effort of the season in order to do it.

Kick off will be about 7:30 p.m. Friday.