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Slugfest By The Shore: Mustangs Escape Aptos With Win
Varsity punter Dom McDonald gets the kick away to the Mariners. Leader Photos By Dennis D. Cruz
A sizeable amount of OHS football fans traveled to Aptos for Friday night’s game. Many of them were bundled up in hoodies and blankets. Leader Photos By Dennis D. Cruz
During a time out, Oakdale head coach Trent Merzon talks with the defense, playing Friday night, Sept. 6 in Aptos.Leader Photos By Dennis D. Cruz

For the third consecutive week, Oakdale’s varsity football team failed to score in the first quarter. Oakdale did just enough in the following three quarters to earn a tough 21-19 road win over Aptos on Friday night, Sept. 6.

“We did not play well tonight, we did not coach well tonight,” admitted Oakdale head coach Trent Merzon.

But the team made the long road trip home with a win on the books.

The Mustangs trailed Aptos 3-0 late in the first half but a 51-yard rushing touchdown by Zeke Saffar with 1:06 remaining in the second quarter gave Oakdale a 7-3 advantage through two quarters. Saffar finished the game with a dozen carries for 74 yards.

The defensive battle continued in the third quarter. Aptos was knocking on the door until Peyton Bradford knocked the ball loose from the Aptos runner and Cameron Snow scooped the ball up and ran down the visitor sidelines for a 61-yard fumble return for a touchdown with 2:20 left in the third quarter.

“Bradford punched it out and I had great blocking the rest of the way,” said Snow.

In the fourth quarter Aptos scored a quick nine points, within the first two minutes of the quarter, to make it 14-12. With less than two minutes remaining, Oakdale’s Leo Ayala found the end zone on a one-yard rush to give the Mustangs a 21-12 advantage with 1:56 left.

Ayala finished his night with 60 yards on 18 carries.

Just 46 seconds after Ayala cashed in, the host Mariners scored on a 37-yard pass play to cut the deficit to 21-19.

Helping the Mustangs defensively were Gage McFee, who had two-and-a-half sacks, Ben Chappell, Rylan Kerr and Bradford each applied pressure to the Aptos quarterback and earned sacks in the win. Sophomore quarterback Jackson Holt completed three of his eight pass attempts for 21 yards. His longest completion went to Trevor Smith for 14 yards. Kerr carried the ball for 30 yards on five rushing attempts.

This week Oakdale returns to The Corral to take on Palma. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday night.