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Mustangs Eliminated From Playoffs By Inderkum
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His team gathered at the north end of the American River College stadium, Oakdale High football coach Trent Merzon tried to gather his thoughts following his team’s 49-30 defeat to top seeded Inderkum in the semi-final round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoffs.But nothing came out.Merzon stood silent for several moments before finally leaning close and speaking a few words that brought the Mustangs to their feet for their final post game break of the season.Words were hard to come by after devastating injuries and big Inderkum plays blew open a 28-14 halftime lead with a 19-point Tigers’ advantage entering the fourth quarter.Oakdale lost starting wingbacks Devin Brooks (ankle injury) and Blake Raham (hip) after just eight combined carries, and leaned heavily on fullback Tim House as the Tigers delivered crushing blows with long touchdown runs, passes and key turnovers.House finished a heroic day with 181 yards and a touchdown despite Inderkum sending all their attention his way after Raham and Brooks saw first half trips to the trainer’s table.He rumbled for a 62-yard touchdown to bring Oakdale to within two scores late in the third, but watched Inderkum runner Devin Hartley scramble for a 66 yard score just two minutes later to put the game out of reach.“Thinking back, that’s the worst thing that could have happened, losing Brooks and Raham,” House said. “They are such a huge presence in the offensive huddle and not having them there was a missing link in our chain.”Raham rattled off a 46-yard scamper down the left sideline for Oakdale’s first score of the game, but was tackled in the end zone and limped off the field with an injured hip that kept him off the field just three minutes into the contest.Later in the half, Brooks badly injured his ankle and Oakdale’s season rushing leader exited play with just 20 yards on seven carries.Robert Stout tried to turn up the heat with runners on the sidelines, but a pass batted into the arms of Hartley, who ran back an interception for a deflating 21-7 lead in the second quarter.Stout (4 for 10, 50 yards, two interceptions) hit Nate Madsen on a 20-yard touchdown pass for the Mustangs’ final score of the opening half. He managed the same feat on a four-yard strike to Madsen with Oakdale trailing 49-23 in the waning moments of the fourth quarter.“I thought we did move the ball, we just didn’t finish enough drives,” Merzon said. “(Inderkum) has tremendous size and is the fastest team I have ever seen.”The Mustangs end the season with an 11-2 record. The team beat six playoff qualifiers and snared co-Valley Oak League championship honors for the sixth league title in a decade.“It’s been a great year and this group didn’t want it to end,” Merzon said. “Unfortunately life is not a fairy tale and things don’t always come to an end the way you want it.” Box ScoreInderkum 49, Oakdale 30Inderkum                              7 21 14 7 — 49Oakdale                                 7 7   9 7 — 30 First quarterOakdale -  Blake Raham 46 run (Kyle Derby kick), 8:56.Inderkum - Antonio Bumpers 28 run (Mario Uribe kick), 7:09.Second quarterInderkum - Bumpers 3 run (Uribe kick), 11:56.Inderkum - Jordan Adams 44 interception return (Uribe kick), 10:12.Oakdale - Nate Madsen 20 pass from Robert Stout (Derby kick), 1:57.Inderkum – Adams 11 rush (Uribe kick), :59.Third quarterOakdale – Derby 23 field goal, 6:53.Inderkum – Bumpers 1 run (Uribe kick), 5:00.Oakdale – House 62 run (kick failed), 3:57Inderkum – Devin Hartley 66 run (Uribe kick), 1:53.Fourth quarterInderkum – Bumpers 5 run (Uribe kick), 7:51.Oakdale – Madsen 4 pass from Stout (Derby kick), 1:13. Game Stats           Oak                        IndFirst Downs                           15                           20Total Net Yards                   354                         437Rushing Yards                      304                         260Passing Yards                       50                           177Turnovers                              3                              1