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Mustangs Get Buffaloed In Regular Season Finale
11-1 Malachi
Looking to keep his forward progress going, Oakdale’s Malachi Modesto is surrounded by Manteca defenders in Friday night action, Oct. 27 in The Corral. It was the regular season finale and visiting Manteca held on for the 28-27 victory. Jeff Kettering/The Leader

Senior Night 2023 was spoiled by Valley Oak League foe Manteca on Friday night in The Corral, the visitors taking a 28-27 win over host Oakdale in the VOL football regular season finale.

A total of 19 Oakdale High School senior football players were honored prior to kickoff.

“They are a special group who have overcome so much in their time as Mustangs. From COVID year(s), to injuries those boys never turned on each other and have gone to battle each week and every day in practice,” said head coach Garrett Martin.

Wes Burford scored first for Oakdale early on but the Buffaloes answered on a 55-yard rushing score by Bryson Davis to tie the game. The Mustangs went up 14-7 in the second quarter and had a 14-13 advantage late in the first half. Oakdale’s lead went away when Davis scored again on a 17-yard rush with just over a minute left in the half.

The third quarter was scoreless until the final 69 seconds. The Mustangs scored on a Burford nine-yard rush to tie the game. Setting up the score was a fumble recovery by Charlie Kjeldgaard with 2:56 remaining in the quarter. On that drive, there was an impressive nine-yard diving catch by Tyler Sroup. Joseph Delte also had an eight-yard reception helped set up the score. However, the resilient Buffaloes marched down the field and it was Davis again finding the end zone on a 42-yard rushing score with 4.7 seconds remaining in the third quarter making it 28-21 Manteca.

In the fourth quarter Oakdale scored the only points of the final frame on a Delte three-yard reception from quarterback Tommy Chance with 3:54 left to play, however, the point after touchdown was wide left having the Mustangs come up just short. Oakdale never got the ball back in the contest.

“It’s a tough one for sure. But I am very proud of the way we played and the boys pushed them to their limit,” said Martin.

Oakdale finished the regular season with a record of 7-3 overall, 3-2 in league.

The regular season maybe finished but the Mustangs have clinched a playoff spot. Oakdale is the fourth seed in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division III Playoffs. As the fourth seed, Oakdale has a bye week for this Friday night, Nov. 3, and will host the winner of No. 5 Merced/No. 12 Bella Vista on Friday, Nov. 10 with a scheduled 7 p.m. kickoff. Earning the top seed was Grant. Among the other teams in the bracket are Linden, Golden Valley, Vanden, Roseville, Mountain House, Christian Brothers, Yuba City and Woodcreek.

11-1 tackle
Mustang varsity players Jacob Kindrick and Tyler Stroup work cooperatively to make the tackle, as the host team closed out the regular season at The Corral on Friday night. They lost a heartbreaker, 28-27, to Valley Oak League foe Manteca. Jeff Kettering/The Leader