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Bears, Mustangs Ready For Postseason Football Clash
Playoff Preview
First-year varsity football head coach Garrett Martin is shown on the sidelines discussing options with quarterback Tommy Chance during earlier season action. Martin will lead the Mustangs into the playoffs this Friday night, Nov. 10 at home. Oakdale had a first-round bye and will welcome Merced to The Corral for a 7 p.m. kickoff in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division 3 quarterfinal round. Jeff Kettering/The Leader

This Friday night, Nov. 10, Oakdale will host Merced in the Division 3 quarterfinals of the 2023 CIF Sac-Joaquin Section football playoffs.

Merced, the fifth seed, is coming off a 47-0 victory over Bella Vista in opening round action in Merced on Nov. 3. The Bears are now 8-3 on the year and are currently riding a three-game winning streak. During this stretch, Merced has outscored its opponents 168-29. The squad also won the Central California Conference title, going a perfect 6-0 in league play.

Oakdale, which dropped two of its last three games in league action, earned the fourth seed in the tournament. As a result, they had a first-round bye and have had an opportunity to rest and recover, while also having extra time to prepare for their next opponent.

Oakdale finished the regular season with a 7-3 record and placed third overall in the Valley Oak League, behind Central Catholic and Manteca.

The D3 opening round saw byes for No. 1 Grant, No. 2 Woodcreek, No. 3 Vanden and No. 4 Oakdale.

Games played saw No. 8 Linden shut out Golden Valley, 10-0; No. 5 Merced shut out No. 12 Bella Vista, 47-0; No. 6 Roseville edged out No. 11 Mountain House, 30-27; and No. 7 Christian Brothers upended No. 10 Yuba City, 42-14.

Playoff action for the Mustangs starts Friday at 7 p.m. in The Corral at Oakdale High School. The other quarterfinal games in the bracket include Linden at Grant, Roseville at Vanden and Woodcreek hosting Christian Brothers.

The winner of the Oakdale-Merced contest will move on to face the winner of the Grant-Linden match up in the semifinal round on Friday, Nov. 17.