Friday night’s Homecoming game was a true crowd pleaser for the Mustang faithful, as the Oakdale varsity football team dominated the visiting Weston Ranch Cougars, 48-0. It was a satisfying end to a festive week of activities celebrating the fall homecoming.
The stage was set for a big night for the varsity team as The Corral was decorated with red and gold balloons, banners hung off the rails that surround the track from Mustang supporters and family members. Add a crowd that filled the stadium bleachers to capacity, and the momentum that the junior varsity also earned with a big 36-6 victory just moments before the varsity team was introduced, and that was all coach Trent Merzon and his troops needed to get the job done.
Things didn’t take long to unravel for the Cougars, who picked up a first down but then went three and out and were forced to punt. The ball took a bounce to Oakdale’s return man, Darus Nelson at midfield and much like he did in last week’s game, he picked it up and ran it down the left sideline for a 52-yard touchdown to give Oakdale the early lead.
Oakdale’s defense proved to be too much for the Cougars forcing three turnovers in the win and only giving up seven first downs all night.
“We really had to come out early and make a statement, and that was to not let up and keep the pedal to the floor and play 100 percent of the time,” said linebacker Kevin Corral.
Oakdale used their tough defense as well as the run game to put the contest away early, rushing for three first quarter touchdowns.
The Mustangs held a 28-0 lead after the first quarter. The running game continued to impress as running back Frankie Trent rushed for a pair of scores and Dominic Orvis added another in the second quarter, as Oakdale went into the half sitting on a 42-0 lead.
“The offensive line works hard and they helped carry us tonight. They give us 110 percent every day in practice and they transferred that to the game tonight as well,” Orvis noted.
The second half saw Oakdale’s second unit offense and defense take the field, picking up right where the first unit left off. Quarterback Brad Smith fed the ball to running back Crue Freeman for a 1-yard score to cap off the night, with the second unit getting involved in the scoring as well.
“Mission accomplished tonight. We got off to a quick start and that is important for big nights like this,” said a happy coach Merzon following the contest. “The second unit did a super job tonight. They played clean and they were crisp. They got in and out of the huddle fast and kept up with the tempo of how we play, very proud of them tonight.”
With their dominant performance, the Mustangs improved to a 5-0 overall record and 2-0 league record and are currently sitting atop of the Valley Oak League standings. The team will be heading to Santa Clara to take on the Manteca Buffaloes (4-1, 1-1) in the first Friday Night Lights high school football series at Levi’s Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 11.