A wave of second and third quarter scores gave Oakdale High’s varsity football team an insurmountable lead over visiting Kimball on Friday, resulting in a 56-14 victory for the Mustangs during week two of the Valley Oak League schedule.
With the Mustangs trailing 7-0 just seven minutes into the game, Oakdale’s Nikk Ryan bobbled the exchange from quarterback Spencer Thomas at Kimball’s four-yard line. A fortunate deflection off his forearm lofted the ball back into his possession and he crashed past defenders to tie the score.
Thirteen minutes later Oakdale led 14-7 and produced a drive bludgeoned by five penalties for 40 yards. The possession reached its peak when a 27-yard pass from Thomas on fourth down sailed into the open arms of Kimball quarterback/defensive back Zack Johnson in the end zone.
If Johnson had swatted the ball down, it was Kimball’s ball at the 27. Instead, Johnson tried to corral the pass for an interception. The ball skipped off Johnson’s arms and head and dropped into the waiting hands of Oakdale receiver Austin Jones for a Mustang score.
Kimball never recovered, allowing a spectacular jump-ball pass and catch from Thomas to Dewayne Finney at the back of the end zone with eight seconds remaining in the first half. Oakdale added onto the 28-7 halftime lead with scores on their next four drives and kneeled at Kimball’s 12 yard-line to force the final seconds off a running clock.
Oakdale’s defense allowed just two big plays — a 40-yard touchdown pass from Johnson on the first drive of the game and a 66-yard touchdown run by Kimball’s Evan Owens in the third quarter. The Mustangs sacked Johnson seven times, held him to negative 38 yards rushing and allowed only 175 yards of offense from the Jaguars.
“We were mentally prepared for the game today,” Oakdale defensive lineman Miko Arpoika (one and a half sacks, five tackles) said afterwards. “We knew (Johnson) was going to be a nuisance on the field today, so we made sure to do our adjustments and keep contain.”
Oakdale’s offense flexed its muscles to the tune of 588 total yards. Thomas completed 7 of 9 passes for 141 yards and three touchdowns. He connected with Jones (four catches, 116 yards) for two of those scores.
Oakdale’s running game compiled 447 yards on the ground. Marcus Northcutt ran for 180 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries while Ryan added 118 yards and two scores on 11 rushes. Oakdale didn’t miss a beat when its second team offense and quarterback Dillon Tamburrino came into the game at the start of the fourth quarter.
Tamburrino needed only three hand-offs to engineer a 44-yard scoring drive that was highlighted by a 37-yard jaunt from Bailey Dryden (one yard score). Dryden ended with 58 yards on just four touches.
“I have just been working hard in practice, doing my best to try and get in,” Dryden said. “I got my opportunity tonight and I capitalized on it.”
Josh Watts (4-46), Thomas (7-20), Arpoika (3-13) and Tyler Williams (1-11) also collected big gains on limited touches from the Wing-T.
Hondo Arpoika, C.J. Picinich, Brock Whiting, Bastian Jimenez, Josh Watts, Ryan (two sacks), and Dryden played a role in the seven Oakdale sacks. Oakdale often piled onto Johnson as he scrambled to escape pressure, to no avail.
Oakdale (2-0 VOL, 4-1 overall) is at Lathrop (0-2, 0-5) on Friday to continue league play. The Spartans struggled to a 40-3 loss last week to Sonora and fell 28-7 to previously winless East Union the week prior. But the Spartans have shown signs of toughness. They trailed undefeated small school TVL favorite, Ripon, just 7-3 after a quarter and held East Union to within a score at the half. They played a tough preseason schedule that included 4-1 Capital Christian and 2011 SJS D-IV semifinalists, Liberty Ranch.
The Jaguars mounted a second-half comeback with back-to-back scores to open the third quarter, but couldn’t match Oakdale blow-for-blow during a 40-21 Mustang win.
Frankie Trent bullied to 139 yards on 19 touches while Kevin Corral took 15 rushes for 115 yards. Michael Baskind led the Mustang defense with constant pushes into the Kimball backfield and harassment of Jaguar runners.
“Kimball has some great athletes and they are pretty good,” Oakdale coach Dave Hill said. “But offensively we were able to do whatever we wanted.”
An interception from Austin Manning and a fumble recovery by Justin Hoover proved to be the big defensive plays in a 47-14 blowout by the Mustang freshmen over Kimball on Sept. 27.
Darus Nelson ran for two touchdowns and caught a touchdown pass from Isaac Moreno. Moreno later scored from 10 yards out while Manning added his own 10-yard touchdown run to the mix.