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Bulldogs win thriller
Caden Johnson heard the talk leading up to the Ceres High-Gregori football game.

"There were a lot of naysayers," the senior receiver/defensive back said. "I didn't have any doubts."

The Bulldogs prevented the Jaguars from notching their first-ever win at the varsity level.

Johnson's 34-yard TD catch on fourth down with 26 seconds to play lifted Ceres High to a thrilling 27-26 victory Friday night at Bulldog Stadium.

"We ran the same play on third down and Blake was sacked," Johnson said. "I told him I was wide open so we did it again. The guy bit on the fake and Blake gave me a good pass. I did my part for the team. The whole team worked together. Everybody did their job."

Ceres High moved to 1-1 on the year.

Gregori dropped to 0-2.

Bulldog quarterback Blake Hurst totaled 169 yards and two touchdowns while finishing 16-for-26.

Johnson caught eight passes for 123 yards with two touchdowns and intercepted a pass.

Ceres High running back Jorge Arroyo gained 104 yards and scored one TD on 16 attempts.

Dylan Canatsy and Devon Ruger had 26 and 19 yards receiving, respectively.

Abel Anaya recovered two fumbles. His 3-yard fumble-return TD and Ruger's point-after kick gave the Bulldogs a 13-12 lead with 2:42 remaining in the opening half.

Gregori's subsequent possession ended with a turnover at Ceres High's 6-yard line. Johnson made a TD-saving interception.

Blake and Caden combined for a pair of touchdowns in the fourth quarter.

Friends since kindergarten, Johnson and Hurst envisioned playing football together in high school.

The second-year varsity teammates led the Bulldogs to one of their most exciting victories to date.

"It's a great memory," Caden said. "Definitely one we'll never forget."

"I'm happy for all of the guys," Ceres High head coach Bret Durossette said. "A big win like that gives us momentum. It means a lot. We haven't had a lot of success since the two schools (Ceres High and Central Valley) split."

Johnson was slowed by leg cramps in a 31-7 season-opening loss to Modesto High.

"I drank so much water and ate a bunch of bananas this week," he said. "I didn't want it to happen to me again. It sucked watching."

"That's what Caden does," Durossette said while talking about Johnson's knack for making big plays on both sides of the ball. "He's one of the better players in the area."

The Bulldogs will face a tall task this week.

Star quarterback Aaron Zwahlen and Downey (1-1) will play host to Ceres High on Friday at 7:30 p.m.

Zwahlen tied a national record for touchdowns in a single half with seven in a 69-7 win over the Bulldogs last season.

"He's not perfect but he definitely has a lot of talent," Johnson said.

Added Durossette: "Our job as coaches is to get our kids prepared."