The Oakdale Mustangs varsity football team played spoiler to the Kimball Jaguars’ Senior Night this past Friday, Oct. 20. Oakdale (7-1, 5-0) went into Don Nicholson Stadium in Tracy and blasted the Jaguars (1-7, 1-4) by a final score of 42-0.
The night began on a rough note as Cameron Cherry fumbled on the opening kickoff to set up Kimball deep in Oakdale territory. The stingy Mustang defense, however, went right to work and Kimball was soon faced with a fourth and one from the four. Kimball’s attempt to take advantage of the Mustangs miscue ended when they could not convert on the fourth down play. The Mustangs marched down the field 96 yards following the turnover on downs and scored on a Marc Dickson to Cherry 15-yard catch and run with 7:16 remaining in the first quarter. This would be the only score of the first quarter. Cherry’s night then came to an end via coach’s decision and the Section’s leading rusher’s night ended with 60 yards rushing on seven carries.
Cherry’s early departure led to an opportunity for junior Oscar Ramos in the backfield. Ramos carried the ball 15 times for 81 yards and scored two touchdowns. Both of Ramos’s touchdowns came in the second quarter, from six yards and one yard out, giving Oakdale a 21-0 advantage.
“It’s an honor to play for this team. So when you get the opportunity to play you want to make the most of it,” Ramos said following the game. “This is a great group of guys and we all play as one. I think that’s what makes us so successful.”
In the third quarter Oakdale scored two touchdowns to build their lead up to 35-0. With 4:10 remaining in the third quarter, Bronson Harmon found the end zone on a six yard rush. Harmon finished the night with 10 carries for 54 yards and the score. Josh Jacobson found the end zone on a one yard rush less than a minute later following a big punt return from Zac Campbell. Jacobson capped off his night with 114 yards on 20 carries.
The Mustangs’ final score of the evening came on a two yard rushing touchdown by CJ Toledo with 6:06 remaining in the game. As impressive as the offense was, it was the defense that truly shined in the road win. Jace Krick’s first half interception set up one of Ramos’s touchdowns. Matt Kjeldgaard finished the night with two sacks and a fumble recovery. Junior Rodin also had a sack in the game as well. This was the first shutout for defensive coordinator Garrett Martin, who received the ceremonial ice water cooler dumped on him by Makai Harris and others on the defense.
“There are no style points this time of year. It was a cold and windy night, and we were not as clean as I wanted. But I think the big take away from tonight was how well our defense played,” head coach Trent Merzon said. “This was the first shutout for Coach Garrett Martin as defensive coordinator. He did a great job preparing them.”
Oakdale’s junior varsity defeated the Jaguars on Friday night by a final of 34-21. Oakdale led just 6-0 at the half but an explosive 21-point third quarter lifted the team to victory. Sophomore Evan Waite punished the Jaguars’ defense as the fullback rushed for 141 yards and three touchdowns on the night.
Oakdale’s freshman team made a statement inside The Corral as they defeated Sutter 41-14 on Thursday night. The host team led 27-14 at the half and shut out the visitors in the second half for the big league win.
Senior Night 2017 is this Friday night for the varsity Mustangs. Oakdale will honor their senior players as well as their cheerleaders. On the field, though, it will be all business. The Mustangs (7-1, 5-0) are hosting the Lathrop Spartans (3-5, 2-3). Oakdale has stayed the course in their quest to win the Valley Oak League and make a deep playoff push. The Spartans are riding a tough two game skid, including a 42-6 home loss to Central Catholic. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.