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Bounce Back Grid Win For Oakdale Ponies
A.J. Martinez made the most of his night against Weston Ranch. Martinez scored five total touchdowns for Oakdale, including this second quarter 23-yard interception return. DENNIS D. CRUZ/THE LEADER


What a difference a week makes.

Last week the Mustang Ponies were shut out and looked flat. Seven days later, they returned to their normal smashmouth offense and hard-nosed defense to win 42-12 over visiting Weston Ranch.

Oakdale’s freshmen scored on their second play from scrimmage in the Thursday night football game, on a 55-yard catch and run as quarterback Max Moore connected with Cameron Olson. The touchdown gave the Ponies a 7-0 lead with 6:39 left in the first quarter. Wasting little time, the host team scored again on their next possession, on an eight-yard touchdown pass from Moore to A.J. Martinez to give Oakdale a 14-0 lead.

Martinez continued to have a huge night as he would go on to score the next four touchdowns for Oakdale. Up 14-0 Martinez took the ball 41 yards to the house with 6:43 remaining in the first half, busting the lead to 21-0. Deep in their own territory, Weston Ranch felt the pressure of Oakdale’s defense when several defensive linemen blitzed the young Cougars quarterback, forcing him to throw the ball toward Martinez, who picked it off and returned it the other way for a 23-yard touchdown. With a 28-0 advantage, Martinez and the Ponies found the end zone for a third time in the second quarter on a Moore to Martinez 41-yard connection with 1:01 left in the first half, giving Oakdale a 35-0 halftime lead. Moore finished the game with a perfect 3-for-3 night for a total of 104 yards passing and three touchdowns in just one half under center.

Receiving the second half kickoff, Oakdale chewed up four minutes and nineteen seconds on a 73-yard drive that ended with Martinez crossing the goal line for the fifth time on an 18-yard rush. Martinez finished the night with two receptions for 49 yards, two touchdowns and two rushing plays for 59 yards and two more touchdowns on the night.

“He’s good. Very explosive when he gets out in space, that’s why we moved him to wide receiver,” said head coach Steve Jericoff on the breakout night by Martinez.

Weston Ranch scored two touchdowns in the second half, including a three yard run as time expired.

“We made adjustments across the board this past week. Our defense played very well and everyone was prepared to come out here tonight and compete,” a pleased Jericoff said following the win.

The Mustang Ponies travel to Manteca to take on the young Buffaloes on Thursday, Oct. 29. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m.