The final four.
Yes, the stage is set for the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section semifinals. The top four seeds are in it: Oakdale, Manteca, Christian Brothers and Patterson are all still in the mix and will play this Friday night to see who advances into the finals. The defending state champions and top seeded Oakdale will clash with the fourth seeded Tigers in The Corral. The Division III showdown will see Oakdale’s running attack against the Tigers impressive aerial assault.
In two games of work this postseason, Oakdale has scored 97 points and has only given up 28. Quarterback Marc Dickson has been accurate in passing as he has completed four-of-five passes for three touchdowns. Oakdale’s rushing attack does not appear to be slowing down anytime soon. Josh Jacobson, Cameron Cherry, Bronson Harmon and Zac Campbell do most of the heavy lifting; however, Coach Trent Merzon knows when to lean on the young legs of Oscar Ramos, Justin Jericoff and Zeke Saffar.
The defense for the Mustangs has been dependable all season long. The defensive unit has been stellar in the postseason applying pressure to the opposing quarterbacks, forcing fumbles and the secondary is capitalizing on the front line’s pressure by pulling down six interceptions in two games.
On the other side the Tigers finished the season unbeaten in the Western Athletic Conference. The team has won 10 straight games including a 63-28 victory over East Union to start the playoffs. Last Friday the Tigers roared past Vista del Lago 40-22.
Quarterback Gabe Sanchez threw for nearly 3,000 yards and rushed for over 1,000 as well this season. The dual threat quarterback’s top target is James Perez who hauled in over 1,000 receiving yards and has scored 18 touchdowns.
This highly anticipated playoff game is a rematch from 2013 in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs where Oakdale won 21-17 on the road.
Kickoff for this game is scheduled for 7 p.m.