Friday night football is back and the energy at The Corral was electric on Friday, Aug. 20. A large number of fans, family and supporters packed the stands and fence line to see Oakdale take on Sonora in the football season opener. The Mustang varsity team led the entire time in the blowout 37-6 home win over the Wildcats in the non-league contest.
“The atmosphere here was amazing tonight. It is a packed house and it seems like things are back to normal, at least so far anyway. It is great to have people at our games and playing meaningful football again,” said quarterback Jackson Holt.
Oakdale used a balanced offense Friday night as both the ground game and passing assault was on display. The Mustangs scored the first points of the season on a Yahir Ayala three-yard rush with 6:17 to play in the opening quarter to give Oakdale a 7-0 advantage. Ayala finished his night with 90 yards on the ground and a touchdown on 11 carries. Just before the end of the first quarter Oakdale added to their lead on a Jack Kjeldgaard 31-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Holt to go up 14-0.
In the second quarter, Oakdale found the end zone three more times to build up a 34-0 halftime lead. Kevin Camelin rushed in from 30 yards, and Holt found Alex Jones from 17 yards out. The final score of the half came with 38 seconds left to play when Holt connected with Kjeldgaard again, this time from 23 yards out. Kjeldgaard finished with three catches for 76 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Holt went 5-for-12 for 93 yards and three touchdowns.
“We have a lot of athletes on this team, they are really fast and that helps us out. It is an advantage for us,” said Holt.
It was a relatively quiet second half as the third quarter was scoreless and the Mustangs’ only second half points came early in the fourth quarter on a 25-yard field goal by Camelin. Sonora’s lone score came with 1:38 remaining in regulation on a 27-yard touchdown reception by Michael Parnell from quarterback Bradley Curnow.
As for the defense, Oakdale was led by Titan Ginger, Rocky Richardson, Mason Gilton and Brian Delte. Oakdale’s defense forced a handful of turnovers and had five sacks.
“I was waiting off the edge, and wanted to get to the quarterback. Sonora is a physical team and we as a defense knew if we can get to them early and often that things would open up for us,” said Richardson, who had three sacks in the game.
This week, Oakdale will host Edison in non-league action on Aug. 27. Edison is coming off a 26-7 home win over Lincoln. Game time is scheduled for 7 p.m. following the junior varsity game.
Oakdale’s junior varsity team fell to visiting Sonora 48-21. The Wildcats jumped out to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter following two turnovers that led to 14 points. Oakdale got on the board with just 14 seconds remaining in the half when Ryker Roberts scored on a two-yard run. Kayden Anderson found the end zone for Oakdale on a 49-yard rush with 8:43 left in the third quarter.
With the score 21-13, Oakdale hoped to keep their momentum up but Sonora would score less than five minutes later. In the fourth quarter Oakdale scored their final points of the contest on Roberts’ second touchdown of the evening on a one-yard rush with 7:07 remaining in the contest. Oakdale will host Edison on Friday night at 5 p.m.
Due to poor air quality, the freshman team’s season opener on Thursday, Aug. 19 was canceled against Sonora. Oakdale will host Edison on Thursday night, Aug. 26 at 6 p.m.