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Senior Brent Ward and his Ceres High School varsity football teammates exited Bulldog Stadium following Thursday night's disheartening 17-14 loss to Beyer and headed for the locker room.

"That was the longest walk ever," Ward said. "It's only 200 yards. But it seemed like two miles. All you can see is your face mask. It's going to hurt for a couple of days. We'll bounce back."

"It's a painful, gut-wrenching loss," Bulldogs head coach Brett Johnson said. "We got to learn from this. We got to get better. We're in Week 5. We're making Week 1 mistakes."

Ceres High had four chances to put the game out of reach late in the second half.

The Bulldogs committed two turnovers and botched a pair of punts.

The Patriots took advantage by scoring 10 points.

Beyer's Vince Camarda booted a 35-yard field goal on the final play of the game.

"I got through," Ward said. "I put my hand up. He kicked it. I didn't want to look. I knew it was good. I heard the crowd's reaction."

Ceres High grabbed its second lead of the game less than two minutes into the second half. Quarterback Nick Welsh scored on a 21-yard run. One play earlier, Nick completed a 50-yard pass to Ivan Raya.

Late in the third quarter, the Bulldogs squandered a chance to increase their lead to 13.

Ceres High turned the ball over on a muffed center-quarterback exchange at the Beyer 10-yard line. Welsh left the game one play earlier due to leg cramping.

Ceres High trailed 7-6 at intermission.

The Bulldogs scored first when Nick Welsh and Josh Sasamoto combined for a 14-yard pass-and-catch play in the opening quarter.

Beyer's Brad Wilkerson threw a 52-yard TD pass to Jacob Binghurst in the second quarter.

Welsh completed 6 of 13 passes for 122 yards with one touchdown and one interception. He rushed for 25 yards and one score on nine carries. Nick also fumbled once.

Raya caught three passes for 77 yards.

Ceres High mustered just 168 yards of total offense.

The Bulldogs limited the Beyer High Patriots to 206 yards and totaled five sacks.

Raya tallied nine tackles and two sacks

Dashawn Mena collected five tackles and 21/2 sacks.

Borden and Matt Miranda both had one interception.

Bulldog star linebacker Hadon Lopez missed the game with a foot sprain.

"Our defense played great," said Ward, who made four tackles while contributing at cornerback. "Our offense and special teams struggled. We need to cut down our mental mistakes."

Ceres High lost four of its five preseason games.

The Bulldogs open Western Athletic Conference play at Los Banos this Friday.

"Legitimately, we could be 5-0," Johnson said. "We're 1-4. Every single loss came down to we didn't protect the ball or finish the game."

Frosh Dawgs lose

Ceres High School's freshman football team lost 23-12 to Beyer in non-conference play on Thursday at Bulldog Stadium.

"I don't know what happened today," head coach Tony Hillyer said. "We're better than that. Maybe we need to practice harder."

The Bulldogs (2-3) lost two key players to injuries in the second half against the Patriots (2-4).

Running back Jr. Garcia injured his left knee in the third quarter.

Quarterback Angel Garcia exited the game with a neck injury in the fourth quarter.

Jr. rushed for 81 yards and one touchdown on six carries.

Angel totaled 67 yards (39 rushing and 28 passing).

"If me and my brother didn't get hurt, we still would have had a chance," Jr. Garcia said.

Ceres High and Beyer combined to score 32 points in the first quarter.

Jr. Garcia and Gabriel Solis had TD runs of 49 and 39 yards, respectively.

Juan Martinez accounted for all three of the Patriots' touchdowns.

The Bulldogs had turnovers on four of their last six possessions. Ceres High punted once and had a drive stall at the Patriots' 34-yard line.