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Football Battle Sees Varsity Take Down Central Catholic
Quarterback Jackson Holt played beyond his sophomore status on Friday night, lifting the Mustangs to a huge Valley Oak League victory over Central Catholic and helping the team claim a share of the VOL title. Photo By Jeff Kettering

In a battle of Valley Oak League teams, Oakdale came out on top.

Not only that, they did it on the road in the season finale, with playoff seeding at stake.

The varsity Mustangs football team defeated host Central Catholic on Friday night, holding off the host team in a 42-39 nailbiter.

“Huge win for our community, all three running backs played well and quarterback Jackson Holt played really well,” said Oakdale head coach Trent Merzon.

Also getting kudos were Cameron Snow, for outstanding work on defense, while Peyton Bradford played well on both sides of the ball.

Oakdale scored in every quarter, with a touchdown in the first, two in the second, two in the third and a final score in the fourth quarter. Central countered with 10 points in the first quarter to take a 10-7 lead after one, but scored just eight points in the second quarter. That left the home team trailing 21-18 at the half.

It was 35-25 Oakdale after three and the fourth quarter saw Oakdale convert on a huge fourth down play late to keep the ball away from the Raiders and seal the victory.

Oakdale earned a share of the VOL crown with the Friday night victory. Zeke Saffar, Isaac Valero and Leo Ayala paced the Oakdale attack behind signal caller Holt.

“This is the fourth time in the six years they have been in our league that we have beaten them,” added Merzon. “Nothing better than to beat them under the Dome. Our kids were awesome in an electric atmosphere.”

Oakdale, the number two seed in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV playoffs, has a bye this week. They will host the winner of the number seven Patterson-number 10 Del Campo game at The Corral on Friday, Nov. 15 at 7 p.m.

Rio Linda is the top seed in the bracket, they also have a first round bye, as does No. 3 Casa Roble. Kimball and Sierra, both Valley Oak League teams, are also in the D-IV bracket, Kimball is the No. 12 seed and is on the road at No. 5 Atwater on Nov. 8, Sierra is the four seed and stays home to host No. 13 Golden Valley on Nov. 8.

The JV Mustangs, meanwhile battled to a 35-26 loss against Central, trailing 28-7 at the half and then coming back to outscore the Raiders 19-7 in the second half to make it a contest.

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Players were flying around the field in pursuit of a title and a first round playoff bye on Friday, the Mustang varsity defenders working to contain the Central Catholic player. Oakdale took a 42-39 win off the field. Photo By Jeff Kettering