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Bulldogs finish off Lancers
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For the second straight season, Ceres High's varsity football team got off to a fast start against Valley Oak League foe East Union.

The Lancers didn't rally to a victory this time as they fell 30-14 to the Bulldogs Friday night at Dan Cunial Field.

"We know what happened last year, so we didn't take them lightly going into halftime," Ceres High receiver/cornerback Martino Bertolotti said.

The victory moves the Bulldogs into a tie for fifth place in the VOL standings with city-rival Central Valley at 2-4.

The winless Lancers dropped to 0-9 on the year and 0-6 in conference play.

The Bulldogs and Hawks close out the season with the third installment of the Ceres Classic this Friday at Bulldog Stadium. Kickoff slated for 7 p.m.

Ceres High junior quarterback Josh Edwards threw for 242 yards and two touchdowns at East Union.

"He's starting to understand what it means to be a leader," Bulldogs head coach Brett Johnson said.

Bertolotti piled up 115 receiving yards and two touchdowns on just five catches.

Sophomore running back Hadon Lopez ran for 82 yards and two scores on 16 carries. He totaled six tackles, half a sack and a safety on defense.

Senior Diego Salgado made all four of his extra-point kicks.

Ceres High jumped out to a 21-0 halftime lead on the strength of Lopez's TD runs (8 and 7 yards), and Edwards' 21-yard strike to Bertolotti.

Hadon registered a safety in the third quarter, and Josh and Martino hooked up for a 51-yard score in the fourth quarter to give the Bulldogs a commanding lead.

"I'm proud of the way they finished," Johnson said. "Last year we were up 21-7 at half and lost 35-28."

JV Dawgs nearly snag first conference win

Ceres High's junior-varsity football team almost knocked off East Union last week.

The winless Bulldogs lost 14-7 to the fourth-place Lancers on Friday at Dan Cunial Field.

"We had them scared," assistant coach Anthony Dean said. "They thought they were going to blow us out."

Ceres High dropped to 0-6 in the Valley Oak League standings.

East Union improved to 3-3 in conference play.

"It's been a rough year for the guys," Dean said. "But they're still battling. We can't be mad at them."

Bulldogs backup quarterback George Borden completed 8 of 12 passes for 120 yards and one touchdown. He replaced David Brazil, who missed the game after suffering an ankle injury during Wednesday's practice.

"He (George) threw the ball good," Dean said.

Ceres High defensive lineman Dashawn Mena registered a team-high 11 tackles.

The Bulldogs tallied their lone touchdown in the fourth quarter. Borden and Dustin Baisdon (five catches for 94 yards) teamed up for a 40-yard scoring play.

Ceres High's offense lost three fumbles during the course of the game.

"We were moving the ball fine, but had too many turnovers," Dean said.

The Bulldogs will close out their 2008 campaign against crosstown rival Central Valley (1-5) on Friday at Ceres High. The VOL finale will begin at 5 p.m.

"The kids are excited," Dean said.

Frosh Dawgs close in on VOL title

Ceres High's freshman football team moved one step closer to a Valley Oak League championship with a 29-12 victory over visiting East Union Thursday night.

The Bulldogs (5-1) can wrap up an outright title with a win over Central Valley and an Oakdale loss to Sonora.

If both first-place Ceres High and Oakdale win or lose, they'll share the conference crown.

"We have one hard game left," Bulldogs head coach Bill Curlis said. "It's not going to be a walk in the park."

Bryson Waring tossed touchdown passes of 14 and 13 yards to Ivan Raya, Nick Welsh scored on a 56-yard reverse run and Jr. Moniz returned an interception 65 yards for a score against the Lancers (1-5).

Zach Naylor led Ceres High in rushing, carrying the ball 17 times for 79 yards.

"Our defense set the tone," Curlis said.

Less than three minutes into the contest, Moniz picked off a Steven Gigli pass in Bulldog territory and coasted untouched into the opposite end zone. Welsh added the two-point conversion.

Ceres High erupted for 21 straight points after East Union pulled within 8-6 on Gigli's 3-yard run late in the first quarter.

Waring's 13-yard TD strike to Raya, and subsequent conversion run gave the Bulldogs a 16-6 halftime lead. Welsh set up score when he intercepted a pass at the East Union 30 and returned it 17 yards.

Bryson connected with Ivan on a 14-yard scoring play, and Welsh sped 56 yards on a reverse run in the third quarter.

East Union's Anthony Rosado accounted for the game's final touchdown. He scored on a 9-yard run with 53 seconds left in regulation.

Ceres High totaled 256 yards of offense.

Waring completed 7 of 14 passes for 104 yards.

Raya had five catches for 54 yards.

Moniz (39 yards) and Welsh (11 yards) both added one reception.

The Bulldogs remained focus on the task at hand. Upset-minded East Union didn't make it easy.

"They're a pretty good team," Curlis said. "I can't believe they haven't won more games."

Ceres High will play against Central Valley this Thursday at Bulldog Stadium. The VOL finale will begin at 6 p.m.

The Hawks (3-3) will try to play spoiler against their cross-town foe. Central Valley lost 24-7 at second-place Manteca last week.

"It's going to be a really tough game," Curlis said. "I don't think any pressure is on us. It's on them."