By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Cougars cant keep pace with undefeated Oakdale
Placeholder Image

STOCKTON—Keeping things close for a quarter and notching an impressive first-half touchdown score appeased the Weston Ranch Cougars for a fleeting moment. The 51-14 final score seemingly sapped the Cougars of any sense of accomplishment in Friday’s Valley Oak League loss to Oakdale.

The Cougars (2-3 VOL, 3-5 overall) cut a two-touchdown deficit to a single score when Kenneth Williams hauled in a quick-pass from quarterback James Simerly, broke a pair of tackles at the line of scrimmage and raced 30 yards for a Weston Ranch touchdown just 20 seconds after Oakdale took a 14-0 lead.

A 65-yard kickoff return set up great field position for the Cougars, and they would capitalize on the ensuing play. The score ignited a frustrated Cougar sideline, but would also be as close as the squad would get to the Mustangs.

“Execution, without a doubt execution,” Williams said when asked what was the difference over the final three quarters. “We didn’t execute and they did. We had a lot of missing assignments and that was costly.”

Oakdale (5-0, 8-0) shrugged off what could be considered a sluggish start in the opening quarter to outscore Weston Ranch 36-6 over the games’ next 22 minutes. Oakdale mustered four scores on the ground and another in the air. Quarterback Spencer Thomas was effective and efficient guiding a Mustang offense that put up over 450 yards and posted 50 points on a scoreboard for the fifth time this season.

“I thought The Ranch was for real tonight,” Oakdale head coach Trent Merzon said. “They came out as advertised. I know the final score ended up like it did, but that wasn’t the football game that I witnessed.

“They were fast, they were physical and they get after it. It’s unfortunate that the game got out of hand late.”

The Cougars got a solid effort from Simerly, who threw for 148 yards on 8-of-19 passing with a score. Simerly’s primary target was Williams, who finished with 87 yards receiving. Weston Ranch looked willing and able to contend with the Mustangs, but that look only lasted a quarter.

“We wanted to try and come in and keep possession in our favor and make sure we stuck to the game plan,” Cougars head coach Mike Hale said. “We have to learn to limit our mistakes.

“Things just kind of went downhill after the first half.”

The Cougars will try and pick up the pieces and get ready for a visit from a Kimball High team coming off a victory over the East Union Lancers. The Mustangs will roll out the welcome mats for the Manteca Buffaloes in what will be a highly-anticipated matchup between the two undefeated VOL squads.

“We finally get to talk about it,” Merzon said of the Oakdale-Manteca game Friday at the Corral. “For a game of that magnitude you need two great teams, not one. It just doesn’t happen, 8-0 vs. 8-0.

“The later you get in a season it just doesn’t happen very much, and we just feel like it’s a tremendous opportunity.”