Seven first half possessions resulted in six touchdowns for Oakdale in a lopsided 41-16 playoff win. In second round action of the 2017 CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division III Championships, the top seeded Mustangs hosted the ninth seeded Vanden Vikings on Friday night, Nov. 17.
Two minutes into the game, Oakdale found the end zone on a 60-yard rush by fullback Josh Jacobson. Oakdale’s defense got in the act as Matt Kjeldgaard’s interception with 8:15 left in the first quarter set up the Mustangs at the Vikings 21 yard line. Two plays later quarterback Marc Dickson connect with Cameron Cherry from eight yards out to boost the lead to 14-0. Oakdale’s defense continued to punish the Vikings as Bronson Harmon found himself at the right place, at the right time as he leaped over the Vikings receiver for an interception deep in Oakdale territory.
Zac Campbell broke off a 70-yard rush to set up a Cherry seven-yard rushing touchdown to give Oakdale a commanding 21-0 lead with less than two minutes remaining in the first quarter.
In the second quarter Oakdale found the end zone three more times to build up a 41-0 advantage. Jacobson scored his second long touchdown of the half on a 49-yard run less than a minute into the second quarter. Up 28-0, the Mustangs scored for a fifth straight drive when Hunter Falconi caught a 20-yard touchdown pass from Dickson. He finished the night 2-for-2 for 28 yards and two touchdowns to go up 34-0. Putting the “Cherry on top” Cherry scored the final points for Oakdale on an eight-yard run with 5:44 left in the half.
Oakdale’s starters did not return in the second half. The running game in the first half was virtually unstoppable as they racked up over 300 rushing yards and scored four touchdowns on the ground.
The defense collected three interceptions, as Kjeldgaard, Harmon and Hunter Ginger all had picks. The defensive line also stirred up trouble for the Vikings as Kjeldgaard, Jace Krick, Caleb Kuppens, Brandon Castaneda, Junior Rodin and Levi Ichord all came away with sacks.
“It’s Oakdale’s way of playing football, always has been. We like to be a tough, gritty defense that will punch you in the mouth. We just want to out tough the other team,” defensive lineman Ichord said. “As a team we all just do our job.”
Vanden scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to prevent being shut out in the playoff contest but the early Mustang advantage was just too much to overcome.
Oakdale will host the semifinals this Friday night, Nov. 24 when they welcome the fourth seeded Patterson Tigers to town. Number two Manteca hosts number three Christian Brothers in the other semifinal; winners on Friday night advance to the Section title game, set for Friday, Dec. 1 at 7 p.m. at Lincoln High School in Stockton.