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Oakdale Falls To Sierra In Heartbreaker
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In a game loaded with lead changes and spectacular plays, Oakdale High football coach Trent Merzon needed just one more of both as his team lined up for a 44-yard field goal into the wind with just 32 seconds to play on Friday.But Kyle Derby’s potential game-winning field goal never gained the necessary elevation, slicing to the left to hand away the final possession in a 44-42 Sierra upset in front of a stunned Mustang crowd and capacity gathering at The Corral.“That was one of the best games I have ever seen here in The Corral,” Merzon said. “I’m proud of our kids’ effort because they never quit.”Oakdale had showed tremendous perseverance after a disastrous start to the second half. Sierra kicker/defensive back/receiver Anthony Hall booted a 50-yard field goal to open the third quarter, and added an extra point less than two minutes later after Sierra capitalized on a Devin Brooks fumble with a three-yard dive into the end zone from Jarrod Daniels.Oakdale responded with a 10-play, 63-yard drive to the Sierra 18, but Hall intercepted Robert Stout’s pass at the Sierra five and rumbled 95 yards for a score that ignited an already raucous Timberwolves crowd.The Mustangs never hung their heads, rallying to a quick 13-yard touchdown from Brooks and back-to-back scores from fullback Tim House. House’s final carry of the night, an 18-yard burst through middle of the Timberwolves defense, brought the Mustangs to a one-point lead with just over 5 minutes to play.But six Sierra passes (and one roughing the passer penalty) later, Sierra was at Oakdale’s 37-yard line, where three consecutive runs awarded Hall the chance for a 40-yard field goal to take the lead — which he did.On the ensuing drive and with just 45 seconds to play, Stout (10-for-18, 236 yards, four touchdowns) continued his best passing game of the season with a daring fourth down strike of 26 yards to Nate Madsen for an Oakdale first down in Sierra territory.After a quick spike, Stout completed a five-yard pass to the sideline, though the Mustangs failed to get out of bounds. Another spike set up a fourth-and-five from the 27-yard line, where Derby’s 44-yard attempt went awry for Oakdale’s first loss of the season and their first at home since the 2000 season.“Tip your hat to Sierra, they played a phenomenal football game and had a great pressure kick at the end of the game,” Merzon said. “Our kids are disappointed but our kids are champions, they battled.”Oakdale was hit with 11 penalties for 103 yards in the contest. Five of those flags awarded the Sierra offense another first down in a second half that seemed to be littered with yellow laundry.One play in particular — a taunting call after the Oakdale defense embraced to celebrate a sack in the fourth — was especially tough for Merzon to swallow.“It’s tough when officials flag us because our kids hug each other after a big play,” Merzon said. “What do you tell your kids when the legitimate penalty was your kids hugged and they brought attention to themselves in front of 5,000 screaming fans?”Stout led Oakdale to 486 total yards, including 250 on the ground from the three-headed rushing attack of House (25 rushes, 129 yards), Brooks (17-86) and Blake Raham (7-39). Stout hit Vincent Thompson on an 11-yard scoring strike to tie things up at 7-7 with 1:48 to play in the first quarter. He added touchdown passes of 27 and 74 yards to Madsen before finding House in the fourth on a 12-yard catch-and-score.“The play action worked well and Madsen (five catches, 144 yards) made some great catches,” Stout said.Stout and the rest of the Mustangs will be pressured to make some big plays on Friday when the team travels to Sonora for the Valley Oak League finale at Dunleavy Field. The Wildcats (5-1 VOL, 8-1 overall) have not lost a home contest this season and beat Sierra (without Sierra’s starting QB), 17-7 on Oct. 23.Aside from last week’s 41-14 drubbing of Weston Ranch, Dan Link has rushed for over 100 yards in every game this season. He rumbled to 133 in a loss to Manteca and found 110 on the ground in the win over Sierra.At six feet, one inch and 195 pounds, Link (12 touchdowns) will present a big target for an Oakdale defense hungry to get back on track. Box ScoreSierra 44, Oakdale 42Sierra                 7 14 20   3 — 44Oakdale             7 14   7 14 — 42First quarterSierra—Jarrod Daniels 1 run (Anthony Hall kick), 6:13.Oakdale –Vincent Thompson 17 pass from Robert Stout (Kyle Derby kick), 1:48.Second quarterOakdale—Nate Madsen 27 pass from Stout (Derby kick), 9:23.Sierra—Daniels 7 run (Hall kick), 6:09.Oakdale—Madsen 74 pass from Stout (Derby kick), 5:18.Sierra—Thomas Contreras-Holmes 23 pass from Jonathan Davis (Hall kick), 3:11.Third quarterSierra—Hall 50 field goal, 10:09.Sierra—Daniels 1 run (Hall kick), 8:20.Sierra—Hall 95 interception return (Hall kick), 4:15.Oakdale—Devin Brooks 13 run (Derby kick), 3:19.Sierra—Hall 45 field goal, 0:22.Fourth quarterOakdale—Tim House 12 pass from Stout (Derby kick), 9:37.Oakdale—House 13 run (Derby kick), 5:14.Sierra—Hall 40 field goal, 1:21. Game StatsOak                        SieFirst Downs                           24                           25Total Net Yards                   486                         296Rushing Yards                      250                         149Passing Yards                       236                         147Turnovers                              2                              0Penalties-Yards                    11-103                   2-20