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Varsity Falls To Folsom
Visiting Bulldogs Take Bite Out Of Oakdale Gridders
Entering the stadium with Old Glory being held by Nico Sarale, 55, are Head Coach Trent Merzon and the varsity Mustangs. DENNIS D. CRUZ/THE LEADER

For the first time in nearly four years, the Oakdale varsity Mustangs came up on the wrong side of the scoreboard inside The Corral.

Oct. 11, 2013 was the last time Oakdale lost at home, until this past Friday night, when Oakdale fell to visiting Folsom 45-29.

The Mustangs knew it would be an uphill battle if they wanted to hang with the Division I juggernaut, and the defending CIF State Champion Mustangs did not show any intimidation in their 48-minute battle.

Senior quarterback Marc Dickson connected on a 64 yard touchdown pass to Hunter Falconi on the team’s opening drive to go up 7-0.

“I just kind of dropped back and saw he (Falconi) had a step on the defender,” Dickson said. “I got hit as I let it go so I did not see him catch it but knew he did when the home crowd started cheering.”

Unfortunately for Oakdale that would be the only score the Mustangs would post in the first half as they went to the break down by a 17-7 margin.

On Folsom’s opening drive of the second half it appeared as the Bulldogs would jump out to a 24-7 advantage as they marched down the field and into the red zone. With 9:07 remaining in the quarter Bronson Harmon intercepted Kaiden Bennett’s pass in the end zone to stop the drive.

“Great play, we needed turnovers. It was a heads up play by him,” said Mustang head coach Trent Merzon.

Oakdale could not capitalize on the turnover but did find the end zone late in the third quarter on a Josh Jacobson nine-yard rush to cut the deficit down to 24-14 with 27.3 left in the quarter. The Bulldogs answered back with a 69-yard touchdown with 10:44 remaining in the game to boost their lead back to 17 points. Oakdale trailed 38-14 with 5:42 left in the game, but never quit. Just 21 seconds later, Cameron Cherry broke off an 80-yard rushing touchdown. Oakdale converted on the two-point conversion attempt and made it 38-22. The Mustangs’ final score of the night came on a Dickson to Cherry touchdown pass.

“We did a good job tonight. Folsom is a really good team, and they did some things tonight that we were expecting but could not stop,” said Cherry.

Oakdale will be off this Friday night but will travel to Manteca on Friday, Sept. 22 to play at East Union. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.