Var­sity Mus­tangs Rally For Win Over Raiders

The Oakdale Leader - - SPORTS - By DENNIS D. CRUZ dcruz@oak­dale­leader.com LEADER PHO­TOS BY DENNIS D. CRUZ

Two teams: one goal, one cham­pi­onship. Fri­day night Nov. 3 the Oak­dale Mus­tangs went into Cen­tral Catholic to do bat­tle for Val­ley Oak League supremacy. When the dust set­tled it was the Mus­tangs com­ing out on top and the team rode the bus home as the 2017 Val­ley Oak League cham­pi­ons af­ter win­ning 27-21.

Oak­dale trailed for a to­tal of 47 min­utes and 39 sec­onds of the iconic bat­tle. Cen­tral Catholic leaped out to a 7-0 lead on a 50-yard catch and run by Dau­son Booker early in the first quar­ter. The Raiders dou­bled their lead to 14-0 with three sec­onds left in the first on a Coleby Gar­rett 25yard rush. Oak­dale found them­selves in an un­fa­mil­iar sit­u­a­tion: score­less af­ter 12 min­utes of play.

The Mus­tangs re­sponded with the lone score of the sec­ond quar­ter on a Josh Ja­cob­son two-yard rush­ing touch­down with 10:25 left in the sec­ond quar­ter. The two pow­er­house pro­grams each scored a touch­down in the third quar­ter with Cen­tral Catholic scor­ing on a Kyle Jack­lich 19-yard catch to give the Raiders a 21-7 lead with 7:53 left in the third. Cameron Cherry brought the Mus­tangs within seven on a 44-yard touch­down with 5:11 to go in the third.

The fourth quar­ter be­longed to the vis­i­tors as the Mus­tangs scored on a Marc Dick­son keeper from one yard out to tie the game with 7:42 left to play. Cen­tral Catholic’s start­ing quar­ter­back Kyle Jack­son went down with a scary knee in­jury mid­way through the first half and was re­placed by se­nior Theo Azevedo.

Azevedo fin­ished the game with four passes for 47 yards and threw two in­ter­cep­tions. In the fourth quar­ter Azevedo threw a pass that was in­ter­cepted by Bron­son Har­mon, who re­turned it to the Cen­tral Catholic 37 with 2:13 left to play. Dick­son then found a wide open Hunter Fal­coni in the end zone with 47 sec­onds left to play but the score was negated by a Mus­tang hold­ing penalty. Two plays later on fourth and seven from the Raider 44, Cherry ex­ploded past the Raiders de­fen­sive line and burned their sec­ondary for a 44-yard touch­down with 21 sec­onds left to play, giv­ing Oak­dale a 27-21 lead. The game came to a close with Caleb Kup­pens in­ter­cept­ing a Cen­tral Catholic pass with seven sec­onds left in the game.

“It was a long, crazy bat­tle. We fought, they fought but at the end we came away with the W,” Cherry said fol­low­ing the game.

Cherry fin­ished the evening with 197 yards rush­ing while his back­field team­mate Har­mon racked up 137 yards rush­ing on just eight at­tempts but had an even big­ger im­pact on the de­fen­sive side of the ball with his two in­ter­cep­tions.

“We be­lieve in each other. We were down but never had any doubt that we would win this game,” Har­mon said. “As great as it is to win the VOL at home, I think it was bet­ter win­ning it here. We came into their king­dom and took over. This is our land now.”

Open­ing up lanes for the Mus­tang back­field and keep­ing Dick­son up­right through­out the night was the of­fen­sive line. The tal­ented line over­pow­ered the Raider de­fen­sive line through­out the night.

“I re­ally couldn’t con­trol my emo­tions. This was an in­tense bat­tle. Ev­ery minute was in­tense. It was an honor to play this game, and we did it for every­one who loves Mus­tangs foot­ball,” cen­ter Jorge Bara­jas said.

Oak­dale’s de­fense bent, but never broke. The team fell be­hind early but came away with four turnovers, and four sacks. Ju­nior Rodin, Corey Hi­no­josa and Levi Ichord all recorded sacks.

JU­NIOR VAR­SITY

The JV team fin­ished their sea­son on the road Fri­day night at David Pat­ton Field at Cen­tral Catholic. The Raiders roughed up the Mus­tangs 48-0 in the fi­nale. With the loss, Oak­dale fin­ished the Val­ley Oak League sea­son with a 7-3 record.

PLAY­OFF PRE­VIEW

The Oak­dale Mus­tangs won their 13th Val­ley Oak League ti­tle in the last 16 years this past Fri­day night, Nov. 4. Their im­pres­sive sea­son has landed them the num­ber one seed in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Sec­tion Divi­sion III play­off bracket.

This Thurs­day night, Nov. 9 the Mus­tangs will host the No. 16 seed McNair Ea­gles of Stock­ton. The Ea­gles fin­ished with a 5-5 over­all record and a 3-2 record in the San Joaquin Ath­letic As­so­ci­a­tion. The team fin­ished sec­ond in their league. McNair is com­ing off a 35-28 road loss to Bear Creek. Last year Oak­dale de­feated McNair in the play­offs 49-0 to open up their CIF State Cham­pi­onship run.

Should the Mus­tangs be suc­cess­ful against the vis­i­tors, Oak­dale will host the win­ner be­tween Yuba City and Van­den on Fri­day, Nov. 17. The semi­fi­nals will be held Fri­day night, Nov. 24 and the Sec­tion Cham­pi­onship will be held Fri­day night, Dec. 1 at Lin­coln High School of Stock­ton.

The road to a Sec­tion Cham­pi­onship will go through The Cor­ral. The field of 16 teams look like this, in or­der of their rank­ings from No, 1 to No. 16: Oak­dale, Man­teca, Chris­tian Broth­ers, Pat­ter­son, Vista del Lago, Los Banos, Amer­i­can Canyon, Yuba City, Van­den, River Val­ley, Rio Linda, Cor­dova, East Union, Beni­cia, Rio Amer­i­cano and McNair.

Thurs­day night’s game is sched­uled for 7 p.m.

LEFT PHOTO: Bron­son Har­mon had a big game on both sides of the ball for the Mus­tang var­sity squad. He rushed for over 100 yards and in­ter­cepted Cen­tral Catholic twice. RIGHT PHOTO: The ju­nior var­sity team fin­ished the sea­son with a 7-3 league record af­ter fall­ing on the road to Cen­tral Catholic on Fri­day night. Here, quar­ter­back Do­minic McDon­ald looks to coaches on the side­lines as they send in the play.

Al­ways sup­port­ing the team home or away, the OHS foot­ball fans came to Cen­tral Catholic with col­or­ful signs, chants and cheers.

Oak­dale’s de­fense pun­ished the Raiders for four to­tal sacks and forced four turnovers in the game. Shown is Levi Ichord, 52, ze­ro­ing in on Cen­tral quar­ter­back Kyle Jack­son for one of his sacks.

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