By HEATHER CAMPBELL-O’BRIEN
OAKDALE — East Union came out hard and ended strong, scoring the first and last touchdowns of the game but could not hold the middle, losing 42-14 against Oakdale to open the Valley Oak League campaign Friday night at The Corral.
After a scoreless first quarter, Lancers quarterback Eric Morales threw a 26-yard pass between two defenders to teammate Ryland Toves, giving East Union a 7-0 lead.
That would be the last Lancers lead of the evening.
“We are better than that,” East Union coach Willie Herrera said. “There was disappointment. We did things that were uncharacteristic of us tonight. They had no business for throwing for what they threw. I think that’s where the frustration came from, the guys were so mad at themselves. Oakdale is Oakdale, but we made it easy on them.”
Morales finished 16 for 23 passing with 253 yards and added another touchdown to close out the night’s scoring on a 1-yard pass to Tyler Diaz in the fourth quarter.
The Mustangs (1-0 VOL, 3-2 overall) went on a 42-7 run to end the game, starting with a 1-yard run by Rylan Kerr. Oakdale quarterback Jackson Holt was 7 for 10 passing for 186 yards with three touchdowns.
Oakdale coach Trent Merzon, pocketing his 200th career win, credits his team’s tough non-league for Friday’s result. It was also the Mustangs’ 26th consecutive win over East Union.
“Our pre-season schedule paid dividends, going 2-2,” Merzon said. “We played some really good teams that prepared us for the VOL.”
Herrera is anxious for the Lancers (0-1 VOL, 3-2) to get back on the field next Friday against Kimball.
“They create in Oakdale,” Herrera said. “We got so drawn in on the run piece even though the number one possibility is the pass. Our disappointment stems from the lack of execution.
“Nothing will make our players feel good other than taking care of business next week. We’ve gotta go back and we’ve gotta fix this for Week 2.”
East Union 0 7 0 7 — 14
Oakdale 0 21 14 7 — 42
E — Ryland Toves 26 pass from Eric Morales (Cameron Torres kick), 10:09
O—Rylan Kerr 1 run (Dom McDonald kick), 5:44
O—Peyton Bradford 24 pass from Jackson Holt (McDonald kick), 4:17
O—Bradford 70 pass from Holt (McDonald kick), 1:31
O—Zeke Saffar 13 run (McDonald kick), 10:00
O—Bradford Bradford 20 pass from Hold (McDonald kick), 1:47
O—Donovan Walker 47 run (McDonald kick), 9:05
E—Tyler Diaz 1 pass from Morales to Tyler Diaz (Torres kick), 4:10