Joseph struck with a vengeance last Friday night to cap off homecoming festivities, soundly defeating the Union Bobcats 59-13. Senior Randall Eschler rushed for 284 yards on 28 carries for five touchdowns plus 83 yards receiving and one TD to lead the Eagle attack.
"Without the help of our offensive line (Clay Hayward, Sterling Shetler, Clayton Lowe, Mike Marks and Alex Sealey) I wouldn't be able to get the yardage that I have so far this season," Randall Eschler said. "They are my guardian angels on the field," he added.
Eschler and the Joseph offense got things rolling midway through the first quarter as Eschler went in to score from ten yards out. The Eagles offense had little time to catch their breath as Union's Gavin Watson took the kickoff 90 yards to pay dirt 16 seconds later, knotting the score at seven with 5:42 remaining in the first period.
Eschler broke the deadlock at the 2:26 mark with a short run around the right side, giving the Eagles a 13-7 advantage.
Moments later a big hit by Marks caused a Union fumble and the JHS offense capitalized as Eschler outran the Bobcat "D" 48 yards to paydirt. Andy Hayes caught the ball in the end zone for the conversion, upping the Eagles lead to 21-7 with 1:28 remaining in the first quarter.
Eschler continued his running attack at the 7:02 mark of the second quarter on a 70 yard score after the Eagles were pinned deep, raising the score to 28-7.
Union drove into scoring position late in the second period. A huge defensive play on fourth and goal by a leaping Lance Strickland gave the Eagle offense the ball one more time before the half.
Eagle's QB Kyle Hook capitalized on the situation with a bomb to Eschler for a 70 yard score with 25 seconds remaining in the half giving JHS a 35-7 lead.
Hook found Hayes with a 30 yard strike early in the third quarter as the senior receiver burned the defense, increasing the score 41-7. Hayes next snatched a Bobcat pass and returned the ball to the Bobcat 20 to set up JHS's seventh score of the contest three plays later. Mike Gamboa took that hand off, punching the ball over from the three with 10:03 remaining in the third for a commanding 47-7 lead.
An Eagle fumble deep in their own territory gave Union an opportunity which they used to their full advantage. Union QB Kasey Towne found Watson with a 15 yard strike to cut into the JHS lead at 47-13.
Eagles coach Rusty Eschler tried out some of his younger talent late in the third and it paid off. JHS QB Lane Bailey scrambled out of the pocket on a broken play to find receiver Jay Watts for a 31 yard strike with 1:52 remaining in the quarter extending the lead to 53-13.
Hayes picked off another Bobcat pass late in the third to set up Joseph's and Eschler's final score of the contest. Eschler zigzagged his way through the Bobcat "D" on his way to a 32 yard touchdown with 11:05 remaining in the fourth for the 59-13 final. The remainder of the fourth continued under the running clock rule.
" We still didn't play with enough emotion," said Coach Eschler. " We will have to play with a lot more heart than we did tonight when we face Grant Union next week," he said. Joseph travels to Grant Union Friday with kick off scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
Score by quarter
Joseph: 21 14 18 6-59
Union: 7 0 6 0-13
Rushing: JHS-Eschler 28/284, 5-TD, 2 fum; Gamboa 11/35, 1-TD; Hook 1/3; Stewart 1/2; Coppin 3/-2, 1-fum; Hayes 6/37; Strickland 1/2; 51/361, 6-TD's. Union-Blair 2/13; Craig 2/4; Thurston 16/17, 1-fum; Towne 3/5; Cox 1/-1; 24/38; Passing: JHS-Hook 5/8/138, 2-TD; Bailey 1/2/34, 1-TD; 6/10/172, 3-TD. Union-Towne 6/28/68, 1-TD, 1-fum.
Receiving: JHS-Hayes 1/30, 1-TD; Watts 2/59, 1-TD; Eschler 3/83, 1-TD. Union-Watson 5/62, 1-TD; Blair 1/6.