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Cats headed to final VOL clash with rival Oakdale

It’s rivalry week for Sonora High football.

The Oakdale Mustangs come to town on Friday for the final Valley Oak League clash between the schools. It will be the 96th meeting in a series that began in 1922.

It’s a must-win for both teams if they want to play the following Friday, in the playoffs. If Oakdale wins, they’re in the Division III bracket. If Sonora wins, and somebody loses here, and another team wins there, it will be in the DIV tournament.

One thing is for sure, with four straight wins under their belt, the Wildcats are confident.

“We’re excited to play Oakdale, we’re peaking,” said Wildcat lineman Brandon Phelan after their 21-20 victory over Kimball at Dunlavy Field. “It’s gonna be a tough game but we’re gonna be prepared for it. We’ve been preparing for it all season and we’re gonna be ready.”

There’s evidence that the 2013 edition of “The Rivalry” should be closely-contested. Sonora beat Kimball 21-20 and the Jaguars ripped Oakdale 35-14. On the other hand, Sierra handed the Cats a healthy loss while the Mustangs rallied to beat the Timberwolves. Both schools suffered painfully close, early-season losses to Turlock.

“I’m confident,” said Wildcat line back Steve Lawrence. “We’re riding high heading into Oakdale. I’m pretty sure after seeing these guys (Kimball), and these guys put a good licking on Oakdale, I’m not underestimating them, but I’m confident in our skills.”

Oakdale has owned the series recently, winning seven straight and 15 of 17. Overall, the Mustangs lead the series 59-31-5.

Sonora’s head coach quickly turned his Wildcats’ attention to Oakdale.

“There’s no doubt we’re sky high,” said Craig post game Friday night. “I told the kids to celebrate tonight with their families and tomorrow, we start working on Oakdale.”

“I’m pumped, I’m ready to show them we are something,” said Wildcat quarterback Zach Atwood. “We started out slow, but we’re coming.”

Advanced tickets are available at the Student Activities Office at Sonora High or call Nancy Weiser at 532-5511 ext. 112 from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. this week for more information.

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