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Wild Road Football Win For Mustangs In League Opener
Mustang Angel DeAnda celebrates in the end zone after scoring a first quarter touchdown on the road Friday night at Sierra. He pulled in an 11-yard pass for the first points of the contest. The varsity won the VOL opener, 42-35. Jeff Kettering/The Leader

The Oakdale High School Mustangs earned a hard fought 42-35 road win over Sierra of Manteca on Friday night, Sept. 29. Oakdale’s victory came as the squads met in the Valley Oak League season opener. The Mustangs used a heavy run game and the defense stepped up in key plays to help Oakdale get the win.

The high scoring contest began when Oakdale’s Tommy Chase found Angel DeAnda in the end zone from 11 yards out to give the Mustangs a 7-0 advantage with 4:40 remaining in the first quarter. Sierra tied the game less than a minute later on a Zak Willson to Josh Seals connection for a 65-yard catch and run. With the game tied at 7, Oakdale regained the lead on a Wes Burford 22-yard run, giving Oakdale a 14-7 advantage with 11:31 left in the half. Sierra countered with Willson to Taylor Rowe from 16 yards out with 8:35 left in the first half. The scoring frenzy was not over as both teams found the end zone one more time before the half was completed. Burford scored his second touchdown of the night on a seven-yard rush with 4:35 left in the half to go up 21-14. But less than three minutes later, Willson scored on a 14-yard broken play where he rushed the ball for the score to go into the half tied at 21-21.

Sierra took the lead for the first time 90 seconds into the second half when Anthony Grady rumbled for a 63-yard rushing score to go up 28-21. The lead for the host Sierra Timberwolves did not last long as Oakdale got into a groove and scored 21 unanswered points. Gabe McDonald scored on a three-yard rush with 6:29 remaining in the third. Burford scored two more touchdowns (three yards out and four yards out) to give Oakdale a 42-28 lead with 5:54 remaining in the game. Burford carried the ball 41 times for 279 rushing yards and scored four touchdowns.

“Certainly not the game plan (to have Burford carry the ball so much); but it just happened that way,” said Mustangs coach Garrett Martin. “He was impressive tonight and the o-line did a great job for him, and the rest of our backfield.”

The final scoring play of the night came from Willson to Rowe from 17 yards out with 3:47 left to play, getting Sierra to within 42-35, but that’s where the score would stay.

On the defensive side of the ball, Joseph Delte had a fumble recovery in the first half. Rafi Rios-Avila had an interception early in the fourth quarter.

“I am just happy that we won our first Valley Oak League game, anything I can do to help I will,” said Rios-Avila.

This Friday night, Oct. 6, Oakdale will return home as they face East Union in The Corral. This will be the Mustang Homecoming 2023 and kickoff for the varsity contest is scheduled for 7 p.m.



Oakdale’s junior varsity doubled up Sierra 24-12. Gavin Sulamo scored a pair of touchdowns for Oakdale and Ricky Torres also scored in the win. Oakdale will host East Union on Friday night, Oct. 6 at 5 p.m.



Oakdale earned a 41-6 home win over visiting Sierra on Thursday evening, Sept. 28. The frosh boys will travel to Manteca to face East Union this Thursday night, Oct. 5 at 6 p.m.

Linebacker Bas Stice works to bring down his Sierra opponent on Friday night; the JV boys earned a 24-12 victory on the road in Valley Oak League play. Jeff Kettering/The Leader