Thursday's Trans Valley League soccer showdown between an undefeated Hilmar High and Escalon High was for the championship.
After leading 1-0 at the half, the Yellowjackets weren't able to hold on to the lead and Hilmar lost the title to Escalon, 3-1.
“It was disappointing, but a good lesson because we were undefeated heading into the game and we thought we could not lose so we got overconfident,” said Hilmar head coach Louie Bettencourt. “What I got across to them is they have a second chance to right their wrongdoings.”
Hilmar had been a steady force from the beginning of the season till the finale when they played Escalon and things did not go in their favor. Hilmar had beaten Escalon 6-2 back on Oct. 6 but the game was different this time — Escalon was ready.
Adrian Yepez scored Hilmar's only goal of the game in the first half.
At this point, a tie would have given Hilmar the championship, but Escalon came out on fire, ready to play ball and win it.
“We let our guard down,” said Bettencourt. “The goals were on set-pieces, headers, so not big plays just that way, but they were definitely the better team in this game, they understood what needed to be done in order to win.”
Hilmar's first round playoff game will be at home against Millenium at 3 p.m. Thursday.