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Injury Plagued Bruins Take Hard Fought Football Loss To Escalon
Nothing went Riverbank High's way in a crushing defeat to visiting Escalon in their second Trans-Valley League varsity football game of the season on Friday.

The Bruins were plagued with another barrage of injuries, were unable to corral a first down and even saw their home scoreboard award the Cougars an extra touchdown.

After the dust was cleared, Riverbank's 14 able-bodied athletes saw a 63-0 end to their sixth straight loss of the season.

"Right now we are just living for the fight," Riverbank coach Aaron Thurman said. "I thought we tackled better defensively, but when you are missing so many people on offense, it's tough to get much momentum."

Riverbank entered the contest with their starting quarterback, running back, center and top two wide receivers already absent from play. Things only got worse when bruising runner Eddie Sanchez, a two-way standout and vocal leader, also succumbed to the injury bug.

With Sanchez out, Riverbank tried to snare offensive success from back up quarterback Rodrigo Silva and running back Raymond Burney, but the two led Riverbank to just 18 total yards against one of the best small school defenses in the state.

Escalon head coach Mark Loureiro offered some praise for the host team despite the lopsided loss.

"Their coach, Aaron Thurman is working hard, trying to get it going but he just can't get the numbers he needs," Loureiro said. "The Riverbank kids, they played hard to the end, they played their hearts out."

Silva called plays for both the offense and defense, but couldn't contain an Escalon attack that accumulated 234 rushing yards and 321 total ticks from scrimmage.

"Rodrigo is doing great, and he's our beacon of light right now," Thurman said. "He's calling our offense and defense, and is really a one-man show right now."

With most of Riverbank's second and third string players now seeing starting positions on the field, Thurman said he expects to mix things up with some exotic formations in future play.

He will need to pull out all the tricks on Friday in a difficult match up against 4-2 Orestimba. The Warriors are fresh off a 44-25 rout of Modesto Christian (48-0 winners over Riverbank), and have averaged 35 points a game this season.

Thurman said he doesn't expect to return his offensive starters to the field this week, with Sanchez, quarterback Alex Reynaga and runner Angel Duarte possibly out until the week eight bye.