The Mustangs returned to Daniel Teicheira Memorial Stadium for the first time in two seasons on Friday night, Sept. 23. Last time they faced off against the Sierra Timberwolves on the road, Oakdale fell 31-20. Fast forward to 2016 and another instant classic was born. This time it was Oakdale who came out on top with a 28-25 road win.
Oakdale (2-1, 1-0) overcame early adversity as running back Will Semone suffered an ankle injury on the Mustangs opening drive. Sierra recovered a fumble on the first play from scrimmage in Oakdale territory and scored on a two-yard rush by Wolves running back Marcos Castillo. Down 7-0 Oakdale answered with an interception by Sean Gingerich at the Sierra 30 with 5:49 left in the first. Later on in the drive, Oakdale’s elusive running back Cameron Cherry tied the game with a 17-yard rush with 4:09 left to play in the first quarter. Cherry lit up the Wolves as the junior carried the ball 21 times for 171 yards and scored two touchdowns.
“I have to give it to my O-line (offensive line); they made holes for me and I just ran through those holes,” Cherry said of his success.
Not only did Cherry torch Sierra on the ground, the versatile player also lined up at wide receiver and scored two more touchdowns through the air. His first was on a 20-yard reception from quarterback Marc Dickson’s pass with 1:02 left in the first half to give Oakdale a 14-10 lead, a lead they would take into halftime.
The third quarter saw Cherry pick up where he left off and he scored on a 34-yard rush after breaking two tackles on his way to the end zone, giving Oakdale a 21-10 advantage with 9:36 left in the third quarter. Oakdale’s defense played a big factor in the win as well. Following a touchdown and two-point conversion by Sierra to make it 21-18, Sierra looked to regain the lead but on third down Luke Ibarra burst through the Wolves offensive line and sacked the Wolves mobile quarterback. On fourth and seven, Sierra decided to go for it from midfield. On the final play of the third quarter, Levi Ichord put an end to the Wolves drive as he plowed his way to the backfield and sacked the quarterback.
“We wanted to pound it on them tonight. We are a young group and we have a lot of learning left to do, but tonight was a stepping stone towards the rest of the season,” Ichord said of the Mustangs defensive unit. “We just need to stay focused and do what Oakdale does and we should be just fine the rest of the season.”
A defensive battle from both Oakdale and Sierra kept the game at 21-18 until Cherry scored his fourth and final touchdown on a Dickson 14 yard pass to the corner of the end zone with 2:25 left in regulation. Dickson went 4-for-8 for 93 yards and two touchdowns and no interceptions on the night.
Down 10 with less than three minutes to play, the Wolves did not fold as they marched down the field and scored in the final second of the ball game on a three-yard rush by Castillo.
Friday night, Sept. 30 Oakdale hosts Kimball (1-3, 0-1) for the Mustangs home opener. Festivities include Mini Mustangs 2016. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Coming off a difficult road loss from Sept. 16, where their second half rally fell short, the Colts went into Sierra and dominated from start to finish on Sept. 23. The Colts earned their first win of the season with a 41-14 final. Oakdale was led by Oscar Ramos who scored the first touchdown of the game on a thrilling 60 yard pass from quarterback Hayden Knittel. Ramos found the end zone four times in the win for Oakdale. The JV defense also stepped up, forcing four turnovers and added three sacks on the evening.
“We haven’t done anything too differently defensively or offensively really. I just think that the kids are starting to believe in themselves,” head coach Matt Miranda explained. “We came into tonight with the mindset that we are 0-0 and that our league record is what matters.”
Next up, Oakdale’s JV boys host Kimball on Friday night with kickoff set for 5 p.m.
After falling to Campolindo, freshman head coach Rod Long had his boys ready for the Valley Oak League opener on Thursday night, Sept. 22. Oakdale used a 28-point third quarter to pull away from Sierra in a 55-7 home win. Leonel Ayala scored three touchdowns for Oakdale as he totaled 101 yards rushing on 10 carries. Also providing a spark for Oakdale was Peyton Bradford who scored on two receiving touchdowns from his quarterback Steven Morris. Making the most of his carries was Michael Echavarria who carried the ball three times for 155 yards and scored three touchdowns for the Ponies.
“It was fun; our kids had a good week of practice and played well tonight. That loss by Campolindo stung, and the kids carried that all week and used it as motivation,” Coach Long said.