Crowd Pays Re­spects, En­joys Cougar Vic­tory

Escalon Times - - FRONT PAGE - By MARG JACK­SON mjack­son@escalon­times.com

As they do be­fore each home football game dur­ing the sea­son, mem­bers of the Escalon Amer­i­can Le­gion Colorguard marched on to En­gel Field on Fri­day night to present the col­ors.

Prior to the play­ing of the Na­tional An­them, how­ever, PA an­nouncer Greg Lar­gent asked for a mo­ment of si­lence in re­mem­brance of long­time Escalon High teacher and coach, Pete Arel­lano, who passed away in June. Fol­low­ing re­tire­ment, Arel­lano was still a fa­mil­iar face at the school, regularly at­tend­ing all sport­ing events and help­ing co­or­di­nate the an­nual girls bas­ket­ball tour­na­ment in De­cem­ber. He had also served as a ‘spot­ter’ for Lar­gent in the booth at football games for years and was an ac­tive mem­ber of the Escalon Lions Club.

Fol­low­ing the brief trib­ute and the an­them, the crowd was treated to a home vic­tory, as the var­sity Cougars got past vis­it­ing Calav­eras by a fi­nal score of 14-6. (See story, photos in Sports, Page A7.)

For Gar­rett Nebe, the dif­fer­ence in the home game vic­tory as op­posed to a sea­son open­ing road loss last week at Pat­ter­son was the ap­proach.

“Energy level, high in­ten­sity,” Nebe said of what changed for

the team, as they brought a more fo­cused at­tack to the home field. “We felt like we needed to win this one and it was im­mensely sat­is­fy­ing.”

Calav­eras did score first – on their open­ing drive – but never found the end zone again. Escalon scored late in the sec­ond quar­ter and late in the fourth to take the win.

“We were able to con­trol the ball,” added Lo­gan Widmer, who had another stel­lar game de­fen­sively with a pair of sacks. “It feels great to get the team go­ing, next week, we just have to keep do­ing what we’re do­ing.”

The Cougars will head to An­gels Camp on Fri­day night for a date with the Bret Harte Bull­frogs, a game that will be played on turf and could be tough, given the forecast for triple dig­its the rest of the week.

Ju­nior quar­ter­back Dy­lan Azevedo said it was im­por­tant to win, to shake off any first-year var­sity nerves and stay fo­cused.

“No nerves, not once we get in the game, once I take that first snap I am good to go,” he said. “We came to play tonight, we wanted to play well at home.”

Azevedo threw for a touch­down and also had some big first down passes to fa­vorite tar­get Sam Lat­tig.

Se­nior Hunter Cal­ton, who had the bulk of the ball car­ries on Fri­day night and got in for a score, said the team knew no Cougar var­sity squad had gone 0-2 to start a sea­son in years and they weren’t go­ing to break the streak.

“It feels great to win,” Cal­ton ad­mit­ted. “We didn’t want to be the first team to go 0-2 in for­ever.

“We didn’t have a great prac­tice week,” he added. “The first half was tough, we couldn’t seem to get our block­ing down but the sec­ond half we did good, we were able to run.”

Escalon looks to keep the run game go­ing against a tough op­po­nent in Bret Harte and head coach Mark Loureiro said they will be up to the chal­lenge, hop­ing to come back with another vic­tory in hand from the Sept. 11 con­test.

MARG JACK­SON/THE TIMES

Var­sity football team mem­bers burst through the Escalon Cougars ban­ner at the start of the first home game of the sea­son on Fri­day night, Sept. 4. The host team bat­tled vis­it­ing Calav­eras on the grid­iron to

take a 14-6 vic­tory off the field.

MARG JACK­SON/THE TIMES

Mem­bers of the Escalon Amer­i­can Le­gion present the col­ors as the crowd rose to its feet for the Na­tional An­them prior to kick­off for the var­sity football game at En­gel Field on

Fri­day night.

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