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Oakdale Runs Past Center In Playoff Opener
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A whooping yell escapes Oakdale defensive lineman Hondo Arpoika after a 61-21 win over Center in the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section football playoffs on Friday. - photo by IKE DODSON/THE LEADER

The only thing that runs more than Oakdale High’s varsity football team is its own fourth quarter clock.

Oakdale’s Thomas Angarole ran for a 17-yard touchdown with 49 seconds to go on Friday to eclipse the 35-point margin and force Oakdale’s tenth consecutive running clock of the season.

The final seconds gave way to a 61-21 Oakdale victory over Center in the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoffs at The Corral.

Justin Martin booted a 33-yard field goal as time expired in the opening half to give Oakdale a 34-21 lead at the break. He caught a 33-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Spencer Thomas two minutes into the third period and watched the Mustangs roll to 30 unanswered points. Thomas also connected with Austin Jones for a 45-yard scoring strike to the corner of the field.

“Their cornerback was cheating to the middle on some plays so I went to the back side over his head,” Thomas said. “We just kept our running game going and it got cooking in the second half.”

Oakdale’s defense allowed a few long drives from the Center offense in the first half, but made up for it with big third down stops and constant pressure in the Eagles’ backfield as the game went on.

Bastian Jimenez intercepted a Center pass on the first play of the game and watched Nikk Ryan (three sacks, forced fumble) and Miko Arpoika (two sacks) batter Center quarterback Tyrel Anderson.

“I think it was good for our defense to be challenged and have a good game,” Ryan said. “Center didn’t just roll over and we had to battle for that win.”

 C.J. Picinich (seven tackles), Martin (six tackles) and Marcus Hernandez (five tackles) all played well for the Mustang defense.

Hernandez also erupted for touchdown runs of five, 55, 23 and 23 yards in the first half. Marcus Northcutt returned a punt 48 yards for a touchdown and later scored from seven yards out in the third quarter. Martin (two field goals) was perfect on seven extra points.