For the third time in seven years, the Oakdale Stampede earned the title “Super Bowl Champions.” This past Saturday the team knocked off Manteca 44-24 in the CenCal 2016 Super Bowl at Golden Valley High School in Merced.
The AFC Champions trailed by as many as eight points in the game, including down by one to start the fourth quarter. Late in the fourth quarter Oakdale had a 29-24 lead and had to fend off a Jaguars rally. The Jaguars had the ball first-and-ten from the Stampede 30 but the tough Stampede defense held their ground forcing a turnover on downs. Oakdale then marched down the field to score to take a 36-24 lead.
The Stampede defense once again made a big play as Zek Saffar found himself in the right place at the right time and intercepted the ball and returned it 50 yards with less than four minutes to play to help win the game.
“I am very proud of the boys. They never stopped believing or playing for one another. They impressed me by not backing down. The way they came together and played as a team, not just tonight but for the season as a whole,” said Coach Jason Rowe. “I just want to thank them all for their hard work this season. It was a pleasure coaching them, and I look forward to seeing them play high school ball. Of course, their families play a large part in our success. I want to acknowledge all of their hard work throughout the season. Their support is greatly appreciated.”
Oakdale finished the regular season with a 9-1 overall record and was the two seed in the tournament.