We've heard the "one game at a time" cliché all year long from Oakdale High football players and coaches, but 13 weeks into the season the Mustangs have finally admitted their true intentions.
The path to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III championship football game at Sacramento State University goes through The Corral at Oakdale High.
The only thing that runs more than Oakdale High's varsity football team is its own fourth quarter clock.
The three-letter chant echoed across Dunleavy Field and nestled harmoniously in the ears of 11 active Oakdale High players and another 32 strewn about the visiting sidelines.
A man quietly approached the post-game huddle of Oakdale High football players and coaches on Friday with two small sons just tall enough to reach his knees.
Oakdale High's varsity football team overcame a quiet first quarter with a balanced offensive attack on Friday to put the finishing touches on a complete program sweep of Weston Ranch. Between varsity, junior varsity and freshman scores, the Mustangs outscored the Cougars by a collective 135-36 score.
Oakdale High's varsity football team followed up convincing lower level victories with a rout of host East Union on Friday for a three-game sweep of the Lancers in Valley Oak league action.
Far from perfect.
If a football-shaped UFO had landed at Don Nicholson Stadium during Oakdale High's 44-14 win over host Kimball, it wouldn't have made Friday night's Valley Oak League varsity football game any more bizarre. Oakdale was flagged for 16 of 28 total penalties, had trouble with a trash-talking chain-gang, listened to unruly shouts from the Mustang cheering section, watched a Kimball player get ejected for punching, forced the Jaguars to kick off from their own five-yard line and allowed consecutive delay of game calls on fourth down in the final quarter in an attempt to expire the running ...
For 12 minutes, the Friday showdown between Oakdale and Sierra High varsity football teams was shaping into the high-scoring slugfest it was billed to be.
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.
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.