Playoff football kicked off this past week and for the top seeded Oakdale Mustangs, Thursday night’s home game was as dominant as it gets. In the first round of the 2016 CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoffs, Oakdale blanked the 16th seeded McNair Eagles, 49-0.
The Mustangs began their ground assault early in the first quarter as junior running back Cameron Cherry scored on Oakdale’s opening drive on a six-yard run. The point after was good to make it 7-0 with 7:59 remaining in the opening quarter. McNair marched down the field on the following possession but after taking a holding penalty, they missed a long 43 yard field goal attempt with 5:34 left in the first quarter. The Mustangs answered with an 80-yard drive that was capped off by Cherry’s second touchdown of the evening with a 10-yard dash and point after to make it 14-0 with 3:02 left in the first.
Oakdale’s defense had a huge impact on the game, as Bronson Harmon intercepted the ball for the first of three interceptions by the Oakdale defense. The other two came in the end zone as Zac Thomas and Ty Fuentes each had first half interceptions as well.
Big hits came from Zac Campbell, Cullen Bearden, Josh Jacobson, Junior Rodin, Jace Krick, Matt Kjeldgaard, as they anchored the defense and helped power the Mustangs to the second round.
“We are all responsible for our own job. Tonight, everybody did their job, that simple,” said Krick on the defensive effort of his teammates.
Tenuous defense turned into opportunistic offense for the Mustangs. A 21-point uprising by Oakdale in the second quarter put things out of reach for the Eagles. Will Semone rushed for 242 yards and two touchdowns on just 11 carries in the first half. Semone scored on long runs of 62 and 88 yards in the second quarter and sandwiched in between was Cherry’s third and final touchdown of the night from a yard out. Cherry rushed the ball 15 times for 154 yards and three touchdowns in the first half.
“We got a great win last week, and wanted to keep that momentum up,” Cherry said of building off the big Valley Oak League finale win over Central Catholic on Nov. 4. “We had a tough week of practice and our coaches did a great job preparing us for tonight. As far as my running, and everyone who touched the ball tonight, we owe it all to our O-line. They opened up holes and did exactly what was needed from them.”
The Mustangs added on to their 35-0 halftime lead on a five yard rush by Harmon with 6:52 remaining in the third quarter and Emmitt Niemi scored the final points of the evening on an 18 yard run with 1:21 left in the third quarter.
The defense kept the Eagles at bay all night long, giving the crowd at The Corral plenty to cheer about in the Nov. 10 contest, and a guarantee of another game this week.
Oakdale will host the eighth seeded Vista del Lago team on Friday night. Vista del Lago advanced after escaping Vanden 49-46 in the first round. Kickoff for the playoff game is at 7 p.m.