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Oakdale Mustangs Host Saturday Night Contest
With television and print cameras capturing the moment, an elated Cullen Bearden hoists the blue banner high in his fist, while teammates and head coach Trent Merzon, back to the camera, join in the celebration after winning the Section title on Friday night. Oakdale took the Division 3 title with a victory over Christian Brothers. Marg Jackson/The Leader

Right on the heels of winning the Sac-Joaquin Section Division 3 title – and welcomed back into town with a police escort and cheering fans lining the streets – the Oakdale Mustangs will saddle up for yet another football battle.

The varsity football team soundly defeated Christian Brothers in the Section finale on Dec. 2, 51-14 (See story and photos in Sports, Page A10) and vaulted themselves into the NorCals, hosting a game this week at the Corral.

So if you have plans for this Saturday night, you may want to cancel them. After this past Friday night’s rout of the Falcons in the Section Championship, the Mustangs will be hosting Sutter (13-0) in what is sure to be an exciting contest at The Corral.

Oakdale, who finished the season with a 12-2 overall record, placed a bid to host the game and the committee has granted it, forcing the undefeated Sutter squad to make the road trip. The Mustangs will be hosting the Division 3-A game with kickoff scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Also playing a part in their home field advantage is that Oakdale is ranked 660th in the nation, 55th in state, sixth in the section. The unbeaten Huskies are no slouch, either. Sutter is 793rd in the nation, 73rd in California and rated as the top team in the section.

The Mustangs will bring their powerful and explosive run game to the mix on Saturday night against the tough run defense of the Huskies. Oakdale’s Will Semone is averaging close to 167 rushing yards per game this season (166.7) including the playoffs. Meanwhile, Sutter’s Trever Facey averages 119.5 rushing yards per game.

The winner of this battle will advance to the State Championship on Saturday, Dec. 17 to face the South representative Valley Christian (12-2) or Bishop’s (13-0).