OAKDALE -- Spencer Thomas has led Oakdale High to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division 3 championship game the last two years.
Each time Oakdale and its quarterback came up short to Del Oro.
Thomas is committed to ending his senior season a winner, and he took a step in that direction Friday.
The dual-purpose QB passed for 180 yards and ran for 91, and had a hand in two TDs as the top-seeded Mustangs topped Benicia 35-12 in the quarterfinals at The Corral.
The Mustangs (11-1) host American Canyon (10-2) Friday, after the Vallejo school knocked off Cosumnes Oaks 28-20. No. 2 seed Vista del Lago (11-1) will host Inderkum (10-2) in the other semifinal.
Oakdale, ranked No. 1 in CalHiSports' Northern California medium-school rankings and a contender for a NorCal bowl berth, trailed 6-0 as Benicia (9-3) struck for a 9-yard touchdown pass.
It was the Panthers' only lead.
Oakdale fullback Nikk Ryan, after sitting out last week with an ankle injury, bulled into the end zone from 4 yards and Sean Harrity's PAT kick put Oakdale up 7-6 later in the first quarter.
C.J. Picinich scored on a 9-yard run to open the second quarter, but Benicia again went to the air with Ryan Bohnet (189 yards passing) hitting James Hyde from 6 yards to close within 14-12. Prior to halftime, however, Ryan again rolled in from the 1 and it was 21-6.
Oakdale shut out Benicia in the second half, and held the Panthers to 44 rushing yards. Thomas provided a cushion with his 7-yard TD run in the third, then put it away by hitting Dewayne Finney with a 23-yard TD. Finney was in man-to-man coverage and outjumped his defender for the ball.
Marcus Northcutt has 102 yards (52 rushing, 50 receiving), while Ryan ran for 75. One of the defensive stars was Nik Garza, who intercepted a paif of passes.
INDERKUM 69, SIERRA 47, at Manteca Two third-quarter Sierra turnovers in three plays and a third to start the fourth quarter were all converted to TDs, allowing Inderkum to post a 69-47 win in the Division 3 quarterfinals.
"Turnovers changed the game," Inderkum coach Terry Stark said. "Neither team could stop each other and we kept shooting ourselves in the foot and we would slow them down a little but then fall asleep and they would break one."
Trailing 34-21 at halftime, Sierra (10-2) opened the second half with some razzle-dazzle on a halfback pass from Anthony Cota to Dakota Conners to get within 34-27. Then came two turnovers in three plays and a 47-27 lead that Sierra (10-2) could not bounce back from.
"I loved our effort," Cota said.
Cota (95 yards, 20 carries) accounted for four TDs, including a second TD pass of 9 yards to Garrett DeVillanueva. Cota finished with two completions for 49 yards.
Sierra QB Jake Pruitt (15 of 22, 175 yards, two interceptions) had 65-yard TD to Jordan Lewis and a 41-yard TD run around the end that caught the Tigers by surprise. That drew Sierra to within 14-13 to start the second period.
All 10 Tiger TDs were scored on the ground with three runners accounting for 517 yards Brandon Powell had 202 yards on 22 carries and Terence White 175 yards on 14 carries, each getting four TDs.