After shredding one Manteca Unified program with the pass last week, the Oakdale High football team did what it does best in beating another.
The large-school No. 1 Mustangs ran wild in a 48-7 victory over Sierra, improving to 81-7 at The Corral since 2004. Oakdale has won 12 of its last 14 meetings with the Timberwolves, including three straight.
Cameron Cherry rushed for 183 yards on 20 carries and Hunter Falconi had his third touchdown reception in two games as the Mustangs raced out to a 48-0 lead at the half.
Oakdale has won four consecutive games and can complete its sweep of the Manteca Unified School District teams on Oct. 27 against Lathrop. The Mustangs are 4-0 agaisnt the MUSD: East Union, 42-6; Weston Ranch, 59-18; Manteca, 36-15; and now the Timberwolves, a program struggling to find its footing under first-year coach Chris Johnson.
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Following a familiar blueprint, the Mustangs (6-1, 4-0) appear to be building toward a Week 10 clash with Central Catholic (6-0, 4-0), the second-ranked team in the Stanislaus District.
The Raiders whipped Weston Ranch (1-6, 0-4), the VOL’s last-place team.
Oakdale peaked at the end of the 2016 season, carving out a share of the Valley Oak League title. In the postseason, the Mustangs punished teams in the second half, and their ability to finish games led to a historic title haul.
The Mustangs celebrated Sac-Joaquin Section Division III, as well as CIF Northern California and CIF State Division III-A bowl wins.
With nearly its entire starting lineup back, including 19 seniors, Oakdale’s ceiling remains just as high. Their focus, though, is on the week-to-week process, not the prizes.
This week the Mustangs took aim at the Timberwolves (2-5, 1-3). With a new offense and a rash of injuries, Sierra, a former VOL and State Bowl champion, is undergoing an identity crisis.
The Timberwolves have lost three straight and Johnson’s Pistol Wing offense has struggled to finish drives. Sierra has scored 25 or more points just twice, and only once did it result in a win (vs. Kimball, 28-7).
Meanwhile, Oakdale’s prolific Wing-T offense is scoring at a remarkable rate. The Mustangs have the VOL’s top scoring offense and have topped 30 points in six of seven games.
Cherry has raced to the front of MVP talks after becoming the first player in the district to crack 1,000 rushing yards last week. Cherry has rushed for 1,190 yards and 16 touchdowns, despite sitting out the second half of most games.
On Friday, he scored on bursts of 34 and 82 yards. The latter made it 34-0 with 10:48 left in the first half.
Falconi started the scoring spree with a 21-yard reception from Marc Dickson, who has four touchdowns in his last two games. Dickson also had a 52-yard strike to Bronson Harmon.
Corey Hinojosa, Josh Jacobson and Justin Jericoff also found the end zone for Oakdale, who will hunt a VOL title on the road.
Two of the Mustangs’ final three games are away from the Corral, including next week’s tilt at Kimball and a highly-anticipated, season-ending clash with Central Catholic.