In a highly anticipated league opener, the Oakdale Mustangs hosted the Sierra Timberwolves on Friday night, Sept. 25. After trailing 14-12 late in the first quarter, the Mustangs outscored Sierra 42-0 the rest of the way to claim a 54-14 home victory at The Corral.
Oakdale made an early statement as senior Bobby DePuy sprinted his way through the T-Wolves defensive line and the secondary on a 39 yard rushing touchdown on the team’s opening drive, to give Oakdale a 6-0 lead. Sierra countered on a 52-yard rushing touchdown of their own to take a 7-6 advantage with 6:36 remaining in the opening quarter.
Mustang quarterback Adam Olsen had a career game as the senior went 12-for-16 passing for 321 yards and five touchdown passes.
“I saw free runners, meaning our guys were open and I threw it up to them. The receivers did a great job tonight, as well as our O-Line,” Olsen said.
Olsen’s first touchdown pass came on Oakdale’s second possession when he connected with fellow senior Greg Hickman for a 79 yard catch and run with 5:36 remaining in the first quarter. A failed two point conversion gave Oakdale a 12-7 lead. Sierra answered with a six yard touchdown run to regain the lead with 43 seconds left in the action-packed first quarter to lead 14-12. Olsen and the offense did not blink or back down from what appeared to be a slugfest; as Olsen handed the ball off to fullback Brad Aquino and the senior blasted his way through the defensive line and down the sidelines and scored on a 50 yard touchdown run as time expired in the first quarter, as the Mustangs took a 19-14 lead.
Oakdale pieced together a seven play, 72 yard drive that was capped off by Olsen’s second touchdown of the day when he connected with Hickman from 15 yards out as they padded the lead.
“We worked on our chemistry all summer long, and tonight we got to take advantage of that,” said Hickman of his connection with Olsen.
Hickman finished the game with five receptions for 161 yards and three touchdowns.
Olsen and the Mustangs continued their aerial assault as Olsen found DePuy from both 82 and 40 yards out to give Oakdale a commanding 40-14 halftime lead.
Oakdale scored on their opening drive of the second half as the Olsen and Hickman chemistry continued on a 41-yard catch and run to further the Mustangs advantage to 47-14 with 7:55 remaining in the third quarter.
Oakdale’s defense punished the Sierra offense throughout the night as Zac Thomas put an end to a Sierra threat, intercepting a pass deep in their own territory. Also making an impact on the defensive side of the ball was linebacker Louis Marsella, who had a total of seven tackles, three of which were for a loss.
“We had a rough beginning, but we settled in and stopped the run,” said Marsella
Oakdale’s final score of the night came late in the fourth quarter as running back Austin Burke took it to the house on an eight yard run with 2:28 left in the game.
“Tonight was about tonight, a lot of people wanted to make it out to be about what happened last year,” said head coach Trent Merzon. “So we told them that that was last year and this is 2015. Two different teams took the field tonight from then and now.”
Oakdale lost to Sierra last October, 31-20 on the road.
Next up for the Mustangs (4-0, 1-0) are the Jaguars of Kimball (1-3, 0-1) in Tracy on Friday night, Oct. 2. This will be Oakdale’s first road game of the season.
The Oakdale Colts started their game off with a successful onside kick and never looked back against Sierra in the team’s 41-8 home win. Oakdale rushed for a total of five touchdowns; and scored on a stripped fumble recovered by Joshua Jacobson from 47 yards out in the second quarter. Oakdale led 41-0 until Sierra scored on a 12 yard rush with 43 seconds left in the game.
“The run is the number one thing in Oakdale. If we can’t run the ball or establish the run, we will not be successful. We are a smash mouth, wing T team and that’s the bottom line,” said JV head coach Matt Miranda.
Oakdale will travel to Kimball on Friday night, Oct. 2.
Thursday night, Sept. 24 the Oakdale Ponies traveled to Sierra to take on the Timberwolves, where Oakdale fell 30-19. Oakdale hosts Kimball on Thursday, Oct. 1 at The Corral. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m.