The Wilcox Chargers won big for the second-straight time to open the season on Friday night. After pummeling the Palo Alto Vikings 56-28 to open the season, the Chargers followed up with another thrashing of the Milpitas Trojans, cruising to a 48-14 victory. Tailbacks Luther Glenn, Andrew Palacios and Daniel Escorza led the way running the ball. Glenn went for 215 yards and three scores, Palacios added 103 yards, while Escorza went for 53 and a pair of touchdowns.
Even with all that domination on offense, it was Escorza’s effort on the other side of the ball that stood out as the play of the game. The sophomore dropped a booming hit on the Milpitas quarterback that forced a fumble and turned the ball back over the Chargers just before halftime. The turnover snuffed out any chance of a Trojans comeback, as Wilcox scored off the turnover on a Jason Guerrero keeper, upping the lead to 28-0.
In many ways, Escorza’s big hit from his safety position is emblematic of this year’s Wilcox team as a whole. The Chargers are playing like a squad incredibly hungry to prove their doubters wrong. The San Francisco Chronicle had the Chargers ranked behind league rivals Los Gatos, Palo Alto and Milpitas. An example of talent that may have been overlooked, Escorza is listed at only 5’4” 145 pounds but plays like he’s 6’0” 180.
“He’s fearless,” said Wilcox Head Coach Paul Rosa on his star sophomore. “I think in his mind he thinks he’s six foot two.”
“That’s my boy right there. He knocks heads all the time,” said Chargers defensive tackle Ozzy Cadena, who had a strong game in the trenches. “He’s not scared of nothing.”
Like Escorza, Cadena is just a sophomore as the Chargers are a young team this season. Perhaps their youth is the main reason for those doubting Wilcox this season, but these kids have all been playing together for years. They truly seem to play for one another.
“I’ve been playing with everyone, Jesse Teo, Luther, all of them since we were like eight years old,” said Cadena. “We all grew up together and played football together.”
When you combine the friendships on the field with the fact that the coaching staff has been in place with the same systems for six seasons now, it’s not surprising at all to see the team maintain their strong level of play despite losing a large number of key players to graduation in 2020.
“We have a great staff top to bottom, we have 20 coaches from the freshman level all the way up to our level,” said Rosa. “The staff really hasn’t changed in almost five years. You maybe have one or two changes a year, but the core group of people, particularly on the varsity level haven’t changed at all. We have a pretty good system in place and as long as the kids buy into what we’re selling, they will have some success.”
Wilcox will look to go 3-0 when they take on rival Santa Clara this coming Thursday.