Del Oro outguns Wildcats, meets Oakdale Friday

By: Mike Ray, Loomis News Correspondent
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Del Oro has it and Oakdale wants it. That describes this Friday night’s CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Div. III football championship game at California State University, Sacramento between the Golden Eagles and Oakdale High School. “It” is the CIF Div. III championship banner that the Golden Eagles won last season when they defeated Oakdale in the rain at Sacramento State, 21-0. Now, 365 days later, the same two teams meet, albeit with a lot of the same faces, for the 2011 Division III pennant and perhaps, a little further down the road, a berth to a CIF state bowl game. “It’s going to be two great teams going at each other,” said Del Oro coach Casey Taylor, of the match-up between his No. 2 seed Golden Eagles (12-1) and the No. 1 seed Mustangs (13-0). “We’ve seen Oakdale on tape and they’re very impressive,” he said. Game time is 7:30 p.m., at Hornet Stadium on the Sac State campus. Tickets are $12 for adults, and $8 for students and senior citizens. Parking is $5. The Golden Eagles come into the championship battle following last Friday’s 38-0 semi-final round win over Whitney, while Oakdale remained undefeated by downing Casa Roble, 42-23. Del Oro’s efforts last Friday saw the Eagles out-gain and outgun the Wildcats by a 346- to 123-yard margin in a contest that went to a running clock in the fourth quarter. “I think we came out with a lot of fight tonight,” said Del Oro senior Russell Smith, who was a standout on both sides for the winners. “It was the last time for the seniors to be playing here at home and and we wanted to make it something we would remember.” The Golden Eagles unleashed their 1-2 running punch of Brandon Monroe and Nick O’Sullivan behind the offensive line work of Zach Heath, Ashwin Cardenas and Kevin Love to build a 24-0 lead by halftime and cruise home in the second half. Monroe rushed 17 times for 147 yards and had touchdown runs of one, 23 and 40 yards, while O’Sullivan added two touchdowns of his own – one on a 32-yard bolt in the opening quarter and the other a 5-yard second-quarter score. Skylar Rand converted by kick after all five of Del Oro’s scores and booted a 24-yard field goal in the second quarter. Del Oro outgained Whitney by a 218-64 yards margin and allowed the Wildcats just two first downs over the opening two quarters. Heatherington added 104 more passing yards to the Golden Eagles’ attack. Whitney played without Jake Rodrigues, the Wildcats’ do-everything quarterback who suffered a season-ending leg injury in last week’s win over Cosumnes Oaks, and Connor Graves, who left the game with a concussion he received during Whitney’s first possession. Whitney (10-3) never was able to get into an offensive flow. “I feel for Whitney not having Jake tonight,” said Del Oro coach Casey Taylor. “We were looking forward to going against him because he’s a great player.” Sophomore Kyle McCray, a call-up for the JV team, turned in a good effort at quarterback for Whitney considering the obstacles. “He did a good job,” said Whitney coach Mike Giminez. “After we lost Connor he’s all we had, but he played fine. Our kids are down now but we had a great season.” For the Golden Eagles, the trip to next week’s finals will be Del Oro’s third straight, and sixth overall visit to the title game since 2004. CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Div. III Semi-Final Whitney 0 0 0 0 — 0 Del Oro 14 10 14 0 — 38 DO — Monroe 1 run (Rand kick) DO — O’Sullivan 32 run (Rand kick) DO — O’Sullivan 5 run (Rand kick) DO — Rand 24 FG DO — Monroe 23 run ( Rand kick) DO — Monroe 40 run (Rand kick)