ESCALON -- If this were the NFL, Nathan Chunn would be buying Rolex watches for his linemen, or at the very least treating them to the best steakhouse in town.
But in high school football those stakes are a little lower, which is good financial news for Chunn, who ran for 259 yards and five touchdowns Friday night in Escalon High's 44-14 victory over Calaveras.
"We get stickers every Thursday before a game for gaining so many yards or scoring touchdowns or getting big hits," said senior right offensive tackle Alex Gonzalez. "Chunn's nice enough to hand out his touchdown stickers to his linemen. That's the way he keeps his linemen happy, and this week there's one for each of us."
Gonzalez and his linemates dominated the line of scrimmage against the Redskins, opening holes for 10 different rushers to combine for 429 yards on 63 punishing running plays.
The ground attack allowed Escalon (9-2) to roll into the second round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division 4 playoffs, where next Friday they will travel to Auburn to meet unbeaten and top-seeded Placer. Calaveras, which has not won a road playoff game since 2004, finished the season 8-3.
Everywhere you looked there was an indication of the Cougars' dominance. They ran 71 plays to 34 for Calaveras, had 23 first downs to the Redskins' 8 and had possession of the ball for 35 of the 48 minutes.
"You just have to give the credit to our kids." Escalon coach Mark Loureiro said. "I'm happy for our seniors, who thought they'd played their last home game a couple weeks ago. It's great to get back on this field."
And once on the extra-tall and wet grass at Engel Field, the Cougar linemen decided to throw a party. Gonzalez was part of an all-senior front five with Derrick Ellis, Tyson Pomicpic, Joey Gutierrez and Troy Doggett that had a game to remember.
"There was a spark that we got early tonight and our offensive line was moving in such a great rhythm," Gonzalez said. "We held our blocks for Chunn to run out and score. It was a great experience, a dream."
Chunn's five scores, covering 4, 4, 46, 2 and 48 yards, all came in the first half as Escalon rumbled to a 34-0 lead. Chunn finished the first half with 237 rushing yards on 22 carries and had his number called only five times in the second half.
"We ran traps, up the middle, double-downs and kickouts just smash-mouth football at its best," Loureiro said.
Escalon's Nathan Chunn scores a touchdown (Brian VanderBeek)
Escalon's Jason Diniz kicks field goal (Brian VanderBeek)