Cougars to Battle Vikings Friday Night

Weston Ranch looks to build on the momentum of its 58-34 thrashing of Lathrop last week as they welcome Edison High School of Stockton to The Ranch tomorrow night. The 2-1 Cougars will face the 0-3 Vikings in Weston Ranch’s first SJAA game in school history, with the kickoff scheduled for 8 pm.

The last time these two schools squared off was in a 2017 non-league game where the Vikings trounced the Cougars 77-13. However, the Cougars are a different program and team this year, and the expectations for a Cougars win will be high.

“For both of us, this is the first league game of the 2022 season,” said head coach Ron Wayman. “Edison has great players and a great coaching staff, but so do we. On paper, we match up evenly with speed and strength.”

Cougars QB Jose Aguilar has been stellar in his three starts. The Junior has thrown for 533 yards and six TDs thus far. Last week against Lathrop, Aguilar threw for 173 and 3 TDs and added two rushing TDs. The Cougars will need a big performance again from their emerging leader.

“Jose was outstanding last week,” said Wayman. “He made some incredible decisions.”

In addition to Aguilar, twins De’antae and De’andre Lavan will need to continue their torrid pace and showcase their big play abilities. De’antae averages 126 rushing yards per game and has four rushing TDs. His brother, De’andre, averages 10 yards per carry and has found the end zone once. Both are threats to score each time they touch the football.

“The Lavan brothers rushing and running as they do help us control the time of possession and gives us an outstanding chance to win,” Wayman said.

Last week’s win against Lathrop was another step in Weston Ranch’s goal to be relevant in the 209 Area football. The Cougars last winning season was in 2005, when they went 8-2 and finished second in the Valley Oak League. They have also had two 5-5 finishes (2007 and 2015). So, sitting at 2-1 this early in the year is uncharted territory for Wayman and his program and tomorrow’s game will be a measuring stick for the program.

However, Edison has a strong football tradition and history. Although they sit at 0-3, they will no doubt look to make Weston Ranch its first win. The Vikings, a perennial power in both the SJAA and the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section, have endured a brutal non-league schedule and will give the Cougars all they can handle and more. Unfortunately, the stats for the Vikings are unavailable.

Friday’s game will be the biggest challenge the Cougars have had in recent history. The game will be a good opportunity for Weston Ranch to measure its progress against a well-known and well-coached team. The Cougars will need to protect the football and control the line of scrimmage, two things they did very well last week in the win over Lathrop.

“As we look forward to Edison coming into Cougar Stadium, I can only say that this will be another challenging and emotional battle,” Wayman said. “We have had a really good couple of days of preparation even with the heat. In this week’s game, we are asking the same of the Cougars that we did last week but at a much higher level; to not turnover the ball, fight extremely hard, and deliver the unexpected again.”

Kickoff for tomorrow night’s game at Weston Ranch has been moved to 8 pm. The JV will begin at 6 pm.

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