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Bulldogs suffer first league loss
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Ceres High defensive coordinator Brett Johnson delivered an emotional speech. Safety Brian Borges fought back tears. And quarterback Derrick Goblirsch didn't feel like talking.

"It's easy to point fingers when you lose," Johnson stated during a postgame meeting near midfield at Downey High School on Friday night.

The Bulldogs would have clinched at least a share of the Modesto Metro Conference title if they defeated the Davis Spartans. Instead, Ceres suffered their first loss in league, a 26-7 drubbing, and fell into a four-way tie for first with Modesto High, Downey and Davis at 3-1.

"Davis had everything to gain and nothing to lose," Johnson said. "If they lose, they're out of it (hunt for the MMC championship and postseason berth)."

Added Ceres head coach Bret Durossette: "We're a championship team. We just didn't play like it tonight."

If Ceres beats Downey on Thursday, the Bulldogs will share the league title with the winner of the Modesto High/Davis game and secure a berth in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I playoffs for the second year in a row.

"This is the start of the playoffs for us," Goblirsch said after practice on Monday evening. "If we win we're in. If we lose, we're out."

Added Johnson: "We don't want to overemphasize the importance of the game and make them tight. They know what's at stake."

Ceres had trouble moving the ball and slowing down Davis' rushing attack.

Borges and Luis Malagon both registered 12 tackles, NickEudy made seven tackles and Daniel Munoz had one sack for the Bulldogs, who allowed 247 yards rushing on 35 carries and four touchdowns.

Marquell Colston rushed for 137 yards and one score. Mike Hurst, Brandon Mutchler and Todd Masterson had 76, 20 and 14 yards rushing, respectively. They also had one touchdown apiece.

"The first half we did fine," Johnson said. "Then they started audibling in the second half. We had a few missed tackles and blown assignments."

The Spartans took control in the second quarter with a nine-play, 54-yard drive, capped by Masterson's 1-yard run, and seven-play, 60-yard drive, capped by Hurst's 2-yard run.

The Spartans outscored the Bulldogs 12-7 in the fourth quarter.

Mutchler's 9-yard run around the left end, which was set up by Colston's 69-yard scamper, extended Davis' lead to 20-0 with 5:48 remaining.

Ceres got within 13, 20-7, on Goblirsch's 4-yard touchdown pass to Rafael Valencia.

The Bulldogs forced a punt but proceeded to turn the ball over on downs at the Ceres 30.

Colston scored the final touchdown from 1 yard out with 1:34 remaining.

Ceres gained just 171 yards of total offense in the game.

Goblirsch completed 15 of 32 passes for 126 yards. He was sacked three times. Ray Robles rushed for 94 yards on 10 carries. Dingko Luangchai, Cruz Flores and Valencia had 23, 22 and 14 yards receiving, respectively.

Neither team scored in the first half. - By DALE BUTLER / Staff Reporter of The Ceres (Calif.) Courier