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Spartans outmatched against Escalon
Miguel erupts for 179 yards, 3 TDs in limited time
Alfonzo Gonzalez makes the catch for Lathrop High despite the tight coverage from Escalon’s Brandon Shaw Friday. - photo by MARG JACKSON
LATHROP — The Lathrop Spartans were hoping to get their first varsity football season with seniors off on a positive note.

But in order to do so they were going to have to go through Trans Valley League powerhouse Escalon, a team always expected to contend under longtime coach Mark Loureiro.

And it took less than four minutes for standout Josh Miguel to strike first en route to a 37-0 trouncing over Lathrop in the non-conference opener for both teams.

“We made Miguel look like an All-American tonight, and though he is a good player, we let him slip past us more than once and we can’t do that,” Lathrop head coach Jesse Rodriguez said. “They’re a good team, and I think that playing a school like that will only make us better.”

Miguel used the end-around to score on his first two touchdowns – using his speed on the outside to burn the Lathrop defense and run to daylight without anybody quick enough to catch him.

He would finish the night with seven carries for 179 yards and three touchdowns.

And when Escalon quarterback Gino Franceshetti finally started to find his groove, it became apparent that the Cougars were firmly in the driver’s seat on their way to a victory.

After Miguel’s first two touchdown scampers, Franceshetti – a junior – connected with last year’s quarterback, Brandon Shaw, for a pair of touchdowns that put the game out of reach.

While Franceshetti only completed four passes, two of them were touchdowns, and he nailed each extra point that the Cougars attempted.

In Rodriguez’ eyes, a completely different Lathrop team took the field during the second half and made amends for the horrendous first half.

“I thought we came out and played better in the second half, and I told our guys when they came off the field that they just need to focus on the next series and try and improve,” he said. “Playing a team like this in the first week is good because you know that Oakdale is just around the corner. We just need to work on our fundamentals – that’s our biggest goal right now.”