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Oakdale defeats Turlock in longstanding rivalry
Turlock quarterback Peyton Dunseth gets an opening to gain a few yards as his lineman Leo Roa holds off the Oakdale defender Friday. - photo by CANDY PADILLA / The Journal

The Oakdale Mustangs and Turlock Bulldogs met Friday night for what was their 80th matchup of a longstanding rivalry.

The Mustangs defeated Turlock with an impressive running game, beating the Bulldogs 24-13.

“The way we had prepared for [Oakdale] they came out with something completely different,” said Bulldog quarterback Peyton Dunseth. “We just tried to find a groove and tried to get in a rhythm.”

After a fumble in the opening drive, Turlock’s offense went three possessions without a first down.

Oakdale was first on the board with 5:40 left in the first quarter with a touchdown from Brad Aquino 15 yards out, breaking multiple tackles along the way.

Shortly after, Oakdale was called for holding and missed an opportunity to score another touchdown in the first quarter, settling for a 33-yard field goal to put the score at 10-0.

Many of the Bulldogs’ drives were extended with penalties, although head coach James Peterson’s focus for his team tonight was to play smart football and avoid making mistakes.

“The mistakes were the difference in the game, we turned the ball over and had way too many penalties with all phases of the game,” Peterson said. “There are just little things that we have to clean up and do better, it shows me the maturity of the team—where we are and where we need to get real quick.”

The Mustang’s running game continued to pound away at Turlock’s defense with 35 yards on a 7-play drive as Oakdale scored another touchdown towards the end of the 2nd quarter, again from Aquino.

The Bulldogs answered with two seconds left in the first half, totaling 30 plays and 104 yards at the half—67 of those yards from their final drive.  Oakdale almost doubled Turlock’s yardage with 218 yards in the first half alone.

Turlock opened the second half with what seemed to be the start of a comeback, as Dunseth completed a 24-yard pass to Allen Padilla to put them at the 1 yard line—followed with a quarterback sneak in for the score.

Penalties followed the Bulldogs down the stretch as they were unable to score again for the remainder of the night.  The final TD was with 5:27 left in the third from Aquino diving up the middle to cap the night, 24-13.

The competition still thrived towards the end of the game with a player from each team being ejected.

Oakdale now leads the all-time series, (38-37-5).

The Bulldogs head south to Clovis West next week to take on the Golden Eagles.

“We’ll have to play a perfect game to beat them,” Peterson said. “We’re going to practice mistake free football, work hard and get better every day.”