Hughson, Escalon renew storied rivalry on Friday night

jcortez@modbee.comOctober 3, 2013 

In this week's Stanislaus Football Weekly, The Bee's Joe Cortez, Brian VanderBeek and Ron Agostini discuss Larry Shimel, the remaining unbeaten teams, this week's big games, tri-tips and more. (Brian Clark/


Twice, in the 1990s, Hughson and Escalon took turns wearing the Sac-Joaquin Section Division 3 crown.

After Hughson won back-to-back banners in 1991-92, Escalon won it all in 1993. Three years later Escalon won it again, followed by Hughson the next season.

In 2000, each school won titles: the Huskies in Division 3 and the Cougars in Division 4.

Since that season, however, this once-storied rivalry has lost some of its zip.

Escalon has won four section titles — and one state championship — in the last 13 years, while Hughson has had eight losing seasons during that same stretch.

All that changes tonight.

Hughson is off to a 4-0 and is a real contender for the Trans-Valley League title. Escalon, despite its 2-3 overall record, still is plenty formidable.

The Cougars' losses this season have come to Los Banos, Patterson — by one point in double-overtime — and to undefeated Ripon.

Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at Engel Field.

GREGORI at DOWNEY, 7:30 p.m. — The Jaguars (4-1) have been the Modesto Metro Conference's most consistent team, but after a 3-0 start, they lost to Liberty Ranch and then played unevenly in last week's win over Modesto — falling behind 19-0 before rallying for 22 unanswered points.

Downey (3-2) also has been up and down. Blowout victories have been followed by blowout losses. The Knights beat Johansen 56-13 last week.

Maybe not a good sign?

CENTRAL CATHOLIC at PACHECO, 7 p.m. — This game features two of the toughest runners in the Stanislaus District: The Raiders' 5-10, 210-pound Matt Ringer, who rushed for a career-high 272 yards against McClymonds (Oakland) on Sept. 13, and the Panthers' 6-2, 227-pound Frank Ginda, coming off a 292-yard performance against Central Valley last week.

Check out what The Bee's sports writers have to say about tonight's games by watching Stanislaus Football Weekly at

For updated scores, stories, video, photos and more, check out The Bee's online coverage of high school football tonight at

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