Away from The Corral for only the second time this season, the varsity football Mustangs battled the East Union Lancers on Friday night, Oct. 16. The Mustangs used a 33-0 run that began in the second quarter to help pull away from the Lancers 40-14 at Dino Cunial Field.
Oakdale senior fullback Brad Aquino made a lasting impression on the Lancers and their fans as he rumbled his way for 150 rushing yards and four touchdowns on 22 carries.
“It was extremely important for us to come out here and establish the run early. The O-line came through for us as they do every week,” Aquino said in crediting his offensive line for their efforts to create holes for him and other Mustang runners throughout the night.
Aquino’s first score of the game came with 7:35 left in the opening quarter, as he slashed through the Lancer defensive line from five yards out.
The Lancers defense regrouped, and tied the game on an Austin Miller 47-yard interception return for a touchdown with 2:03 left in the first quarter. Miller continued to be a thorn in the side of the Mustangs as he recorded 14 catches for 165 yards on the offensive side of the ball for the Lancers.
Aquino scored two touchdowns in the second quarter, first on a one yard burst up the middle and he followed that up with a 12 yard run down the right side to put Oakdale up 20-7 at the half.
A focused Mustangs team came out of the locker room and quieted the Lancer home crowd when Austin Burke returned the second half kickoff 47 yards for the Mustangs. Aquino scored his final touchdown of the night on a two yard gash through the middle on their first possession of the half, to advance their lead to 26-7 just 53 seconds into the third quarter. Oakdale continued to punish East Union when Bobby DePuy burned the Lancers on a nine yard rush to the end zone with 7:02 left in the third quarter. Less than two minutes later, Burke displayed his speed on a 38 yard rushing touchdown of his own to extend the lead to 40-7 with 5:01 left in the third quarter.
Oakdale’s defense frustrated the East Union offense the majority of the night, sacking quarterback Jack Weaver four times, and forcing three turnovers. Cullen Bearden had six tackles and two sacks, while Justin Jacobson added one and a half sacks and four tackles.
“We came together as a team tonight; it was a complete team effort,” Jacobson stated.
The Lancers scored their only offensive touchdown on a 13 yard touchdown strike from Weaver to Marcus Panelo with 8:30 left in the game.
Oakdale (7-0, 4-0) look to continue their quest for another Valley Oak League championship when the Mustangs take on the Cougars of Weston Ranch (4-3, 1-3) on the road on Friday, Oct. 23.
“They’re big and athletic at Weston Ranch, they are fast too. The Cougars are looking to get into the postseason and they know with a win over us that helps their case, so we will see what happens Friday night,” said Mustangs head coach Trent Merzon.