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Varsity Football Closes Out Preseason With Big Win
Running the ball for the junior varsity team was Gabe McDonald, who had a touchdown for Oakdale in the Friday night loss to Archbishop Mitty. DENNIS D. CRUZ/THE LEADER
Playing the game just before 9/11 the OHS Mustangs wore their camouflage uniforms. Every player had the word “Freedom” on the back instead of their individual last name. Shown are Donnie Graham (58), Sigfred Stephens (51) and Matthew Leonard (64). DENNIS D. CRUZ/THE LEADER
student section
The OHS student section has been loud and supportive all season long. Their passion and energy can be felt all over the stadium. DENNIS D. CRUZ/THE LEADER

In the final non-conference game of the season, the Oakdale Mustangs steamrolled visiting Archbishop Mitty, 56-13. In the varsity win, host Oakdale scored a quick 21 points in the first six minutes of the game and never looked back.

Oakdale’s offense was powered by Yahir Ayala who scored six touchdowns for the Mustangs, including three in the first quarter. Trailing 28-0 in the second quarter, Archbishop Mitty scored on a one yard rush with 5:48 remaining in the first half to break the shutout. Their momentum was quickly taken from them on the ensuing kickoff when Jace Rau out ran everyone on the field and returned the kickoff 91 yards for a touchdown to give Oakdale a 35-7 advantage.

“The guys up front did a great job blocking. I just followed them and when the right hole opened up, I went through it and no one caught up to me,” said Rau on his exciting touchdown. The Monarchs responded with their final touchdown of the game just minutes later to make it 35-13 with 3:35 left in the half. Ayala scored less than one minute later to cap off the quarter and give Oakdale a 42-13 halftime lead.

The second half saw two touchdowns, one by Ayala in the third quarter and a fourth quarter touchdown by Ryan Atack. Other Mustang contributors on offense included Mick Merzon, who had four catches for 58 yards and also took over as quarterback late in the game for Jackson Holt. In his time under center, Holt went 5-for-7 for a total of 67 yards and a touchdown.

Defensively, Oakdale applied pressure and made things very difficult for the visitors. Jake Kettering had a fumble recovery in the first quarter that led to points. Cam Loureiro got a sack and had numerous tackles.

“We wanted to start the night off by showing how aggressive we could be. Those guys are good, but we wanted to rattle them and I think we did that tonight,” said Loureiro.

Other defensive players with big nights included Rocky Richardson, Titan Ginger, Mason Gilton and Ty Benevides.

This Friday night, Sept. 17 is Homecoming for the Mustangs as they welcome in East Union. It is the Valley Oak League opener and Coach Trent Merzon is looking forward to the challenge.

“Starting up the season with East Union coming to town is going to be a great night, East Union is tough and have a tough offense,” said Merzon.

Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. following the conclusion of the junior varsity game.


JUNIOR VARSITY - It was a tough night for the home team as they were handed a 35-12 loss by Archbishop Mitty. Oakdale trailed 21-6 at halftime as their only score of the half came on a Gabe McDonald one yard rush with six seconds remaining in the half. Oakdale’s final score of the night came on a Kayden Anderson third quarter nine yard rush. Oakdale will host East Union Friday night at 5 p.m.


FRESHMEN - The freshman team defeated Hughson on Thursday night, Sept. 9 40-14 in The Corral. This Thursday night, Oakdale will travel to Manteca to face East Union in the Valley Oak League season opener. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m.