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Clean Sweep Of Sonora For JV, Freshman Football
JV Ayala
Delivering a stiff arm to the Sonora defender was junior varsity running back Leo Ayala, as the JV boys nailed down a big Friday night road win at Sonora. DENNIS D. CRUZ/THE LEADER

Zero week for the Oakdale football program was a productive one. The freshman and junior varsity teams were in action against Sonora this past week and it was Oakdale galloping away from the Wildcats in both affairs.

On Thursday night the freshmen suited up in front of the home crowd and was very impressive in the team’s debut. Oakdale posted 41 unanswered points to take a commanding 41-0 halftime lead and won the game 48-12. Led by running back Zeke Saffar’s 271 rushing yards and five touchdowns (all in the first half) Oakdale silenced the Wildcats.

“My offensive line did all of the work, honestly they opened things up for me and others tonight,” Saffar said.

Also scoring for the Ponies were Donovan Walker and Johnathon Jones. Helping out on the O-line were Kyle Redding, Seth Presant, Owen Pena, Robert Silva and Geno Sarale.

“We were excited. This journey started back in June. We wanted to work on improving from our scrimmage and I think we did do that tonight,” second year head coach Rod Long said of the team’s efforts “Now, can we be better than what we did tonight? Yes absolutely. I will watch the film and go from there.”

Oakdale travels to Merced to take on El Capitan on Thursday night. Kickoff is scheduled for 4 p.m.

For the junior varsity squad, a road trip up the hill was worth it. Oakdale shut out Sonora 16-0 to open up the season on a positive note. Although scoring was limited, the team’s defense was fierce on Friday night. Trevor Smith sealed the fate of Sonora in the fourth quarter on an interception that held off a potential rally for the Wildcats. On the offensive side it was fullback Cole Niemi that scored first, on a 13-yard rush midway through the first quarter. Oakdale took a 10-0 lead into the half as quarterback and kicker Dominic McDonald connected on a 26-yard field goal at the end of the second quarter. McDonald also scored on a seven-yard run with 7:11 left in the third quarter to make it 16-0.

“We were excited about the potential to come up here and win. The junior varsity team has not won up here in a while and tonight we were excited to put a stop to that,” McDonald said. “It was a great team effort and it turned into a win.”

Oakdale returns home and will play Friday night against El Capitan with kickoff scheduled for 5 p.m.