The road to a second straight blue banner has officially begun. The 2015-2016 CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division III Football bracket was unveiled over the weekend. Following Friday night’s slugfest with Central Catholic, Oakdale was named the number two seed in the 16-team tournament.
As the number two seed Oakdale drew 15th seeded El Dorado of Placerville in the first round, set for Friday night, Nov. 13 at The Corral. The Mustangs finished the season with an overall record of 9-1 while the Cougars finished with a 6-4 overall mark. Kickoff on Friday is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Oakdale’s quest for a Section championship will not be easy as several familiar faces are standing in their way. Valley Oak League nemesis Central Catholic (10-0) sits on top of the bracket, the number one seed, on the opposite side of the bracket from the Mustangs. If Oakdale and Central Catholic meet up again this season, it will be for the Section Championship on Saturday, Dec. 5 at Lincoln High School in Stockton. Other notable teams in the tournament include Valley Oak League rival Manteca. The Buffaloes (8-2) enter the tournament as a sixth seed and if both Oakdale and Manteca make it to the semi-finals, the two teams will clash on Friday night, Nov. 27 at The Corral. Oakdale routed Manteca 45-14 on Oct. 30 in Oakdale.
Last year’s top seeded Inderkum Tigers went undefeated this season with a 10-0 record. This year they are the number three seed. Oakdale and Inderkum met under the lights of Lincoln High School in Stockton in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Championship game last December. Inderkum led 20-0 at the half, and Oakdale rallied in the second half to win 27-23 in dramatic fashion to claim the banner. If these two teams were to meet this season, it would be in the semi-finals.
A rematch of last year’s quarterfinals is likely as Vista del Lago (8-2) enters the tournament as the seven seed. Oakdale eliminated the Eagles with a 42-14 rout last year in the second round last year. Other notable teams in this year’s tournament include fourth seed Patterson (10-0); fifth seeded Placer (10-0) and Central Valley of Ceres (7-3).