Oakdale needed a big performance last week from senior fullback Marcus Hernandez in a showdown at Aptos, and they got one. Hernandez ran for three first half touchdowns and exploded for a kick off return score in the second half to lead the Mustangs to a 55-21 non-league victory over a quality Central Coast Section program.
If Rancho Cotate High's varsity football team baked the cake with consecutive fumbles in Oakdale territory to start the game, then Oakdale linebacker Bastian Jimenez added the frosting by grabbing a fourth quarter fumble and rumbling 55 yards to the dinner plate during a 55-21 gorging of the visiting Cougars on Friday.
A Friday excursion that started with a long trek to Aptos on the coast of California included a walk-through just beyond the beach for Oakdale High's varsity football team. Hours later Oakdale walked through upstart Aptos High with a triumphant 55-21 victory. The win over the well-disciplined Mariners, a classy Division III team from the Central Coast Section, was Oakdale's second straight over a well-respected program that qualified for the playoffs in 2010.
At first glance, the players opposite Oakdale High's freshman football team fit perfectly into the environment on The Corral's artificial turf on Sept. 8.
One of the most powerful rushing football teams in Sac-Joaquin Section football history has a new trick up its sleeve in 2011 - the air attack.
Sac-Joaquin Section Bylaw 511.6 isn't nearly as lifeless and eerie as the image of a cow skull resting on the artificial turf at The Corral, but it certainly gets the point across.
Over the eight years of my journalism career, I feel I have stayed relatively unbiased in my coverage of high school athletes.
Oakdale High sophomore quarterback, Spencer Thomas, has displayed superb athleticism all season, with ever-increasing poise well beyond his age as a first-year varsity Mustang starter.
Daniel Linder's face was wrought with disappointment, but the Oakdale High senior's voice had an unmistakable semblance of pride on Saturday as he summarized the 14-game journey he and 50 football teammates shared this season. Oakdale snared Valley Oak League co-champion status and then dispatched all comers on the way to the D3 final, closing the year at 10-4 overall.
With 11 seconds to play in Friday's opening half and his team sporting a one-touchdown lead, Oakdale High linebacker A.C. Brown crushed Casa Roble quarterback Mitch Samson just as he released an incomplete pass on a roll-out to his left.
It would be hard to find two athletes in the Sac-Joaquin Section with the same tenacity and skill as Oakdale High standout defenders and football seniors A.C. Brown and Blake Thompson. The pair has harassed opposing runners and quarterbacks all season, and did more of the same with constant trips into the Placer backfield during a Nov. 19 road win in a 7-6 playoff victory. With conditions forcing both teams to rely almost solely on the run, Brown and Thompson were a constant disruptive force at the line of scrimmage, and managed great containment at the edges to limit ...
A constant downpour turned the Placer High football field into a swamp on Friday, but the rain and mud couldn't keep Oakdale High's varsity football team from qualifying for the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III semifinals with a thrilling 7-6 victory over the host Hillmen.
While four other Valley Oak League varsity football teams floundered with losses in the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs, the Mustangs preserved league prestige with a one-sided 56-21 win over visiting Christian Brothers on Nov. 12.
It took just a minute and four seconds for Oakdale High's varsity football team to give their new black playoff jerseys that special pay dirt tint.
A 42-13 third quarter lead effectively put away Sonora High's varsity football team, but Oakdale players, coaches and fans were on pins and needles well after Friday's Valley Oak League finale at The Corral, hanging on announcer Pete Simoncini's every word as he announced the Manteca vs. East Union final score.
Pressure's on Patterson.
All that was missing was Boise State's blue carpet.
It's beginning to look like the Manteca Buffaloes year, not just in the Valley Oak League, but beyond.
No true tradition.
Much like their NFL counterparts, the San Francisco 49ers who had also started the season 1-2, Oakdale High jogged onto East Union's football field with a chip on its respective shoulders and something (more) to prove.
They hardly ever see it coming.
Brock Whiting took the handoff from Dillon Tamburrino and lunged toward the goal line, his shoulder pads slicing into an apparent hole in the Enterprise High defensive line.
Nestled between a dozing Dr. Jerold Polterock and a giant window that revealed the sprawling Central California countryside, I began to drift into a peaceful slumber aboard one of the charter buses containing Oakdale football fans neared the final stages of its journey.
An historic and inspirational campaign by Oakdale High's varsity football team came to an end at the 2012 California Interscholastic Federation Division II State Football Championship Bowl Game at the Home Depot Center in Carson on Saturday, where the size, speed and talents of Serra (Gardena) proved too great an obstacle, ending in a 42-15 defeat of the Mustangs.
When your fingers are buried in a three-point stance, you don't tend to get that much ink. And when all your hard work is basically in the center of the field instead of a leaping catch in the end zone or a sweep around the left side, you don't often get to be in the photo.
As a quarterback known for his accuracy, there isn't much Oakdale High senior Spencer Thomas misses.
It's no coincidence that the University of Southern California sports not one, not two, but three former players from Serra High of Gardena on their active roster.
It's no coincidence that 10 of the 11 defensive starters on Oakdale High's varsity football team received first team All-Valley Oak League selections. The Oakdale defense has been spectacular in 2012, and landed tremendous performances in both conference play and the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs.
The two interceptions by DeWayne Finney in the semi-finals would normally be a shoe-in for Athlete of the Week recognition, but it's impossible not to honor every member of the Oakdale High football team and coaching staff after a 12 win run that propelled the squad to a third straight trip to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III title game. This time, the Mustangs came away with the crown, defeating Vista del Lago by a 22-9 final in the Nov. 30 championship contest.
An hour had passed since a heroic march across Lincoln High's artificial turf had granted Oakdale High's football team a Sac-Joaquin Section title, but a large contingent of the Mustang faithful were still lingering about the field on Friday night.