Hilmar High kicker Miguel Padilla drilled a 34-yard field goal in overtime and the Yellowjackets escaped from Escalon High with a 20-17 win that gave the team their first league win of the season.
It was also the first field goal attempt of the season for Padilla.
“Solid, he is just a kid that got the chance unexpectedly,” said Hilmar head coach Frank Marques after his starting kicker Bryan Millan went down with an injury just the play before. “I told the kids before the game, two words… Escalon and Hilmar. We are fortunate to come away with a win.”
Right away Hilmar managed to get on the board with a quick two-play drive that saw Isaac Sharp rush for four followed by a 71-yard reception for a touchdown from Treven Crowley to make it 7-0 with 11:10 left in the first quarter.
Luke Anderson of Escalon then rushed it in from three yards out to tie the game at 7-7 with 5:46 in the first.
Hilmar was forced to punt on the next three drives and Escalon took advantage of it.
Escalon closed out a 10-play drive with a rushing touchdown as Anderson made his way in from a yard out to go up 14-7 with 1:09 left in the first.
Hilmar’s Millan kicked in a 22-yard field goal as time expired and the half read 14-10.
The Yellowjackets scored another touchdown when Aidan Azevedo caught a corner endzone pass from Treven Crowley at six yards out on 2nd down and the score was 17-14 as Hilmar took the lead with 4:23 left in the game.
But it wasn’t over yet.
Escalon made things interesting when they drove down the field for a 12-play drive that ended with a 37-yard field goal as time expired to force a 17-17 ending and overtime.
Hilmar held off Escalon in overtime and the Cougars’ 41-yard field goal attempt was no good.
With one chance to end it, Hilmar made their way to Escalon’s 16-yard-line and kicker Padilla drilled in the game winning field goal, sending a wild uproar through the HIlmar sidelines.
Hilmar is now 5-1 overall and 1-1 in the TVL.
“You can’t start off 0-2 this year in TVL, everyone is good this year, everyone, every team and by far it was one of the best football games I think. The game itself was wild,” said Hilmar’s Justin Rentfro.
Rentfro finished the game carrying the ball 10 times for 56 yards. Isaac Sharp rushed the ball 13 times for 60 yards.
Quarterback Crowley had 171 passing yards and tossed two touchdowns.
“Pretty big win, it’s a rivalry win and a big opportunity to play Escalon in overtime. They are a great team, big rivalry, just crazy,” said Crowley.
Next for Hilmar will be a bye week followed by a homecoming game when they host Hughson at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 5.