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CHS struggles after competitive first quarter
Justin Canatsy removed tape from his ankles while sitting on a bench in front of his locker following the Ceres High varsity football team's 41-7 loss to visiting Manteca Friday night.

The 6-foot-tall junior receiver's 29-yard TD catch gave the Bulldogs their first and only lead over the heavily-favored Buffaloes less than five minutes into the Valley Oak League contest.

Manteca reeled off six straight touchdowns to turn the game into a blowout. The Bulldogs committed five turnovers, three of which led to scores.

"We were playing good in the first half," Canatsy said. "We had them scared. Then we started making mistakes."

The loss dropped Ceres High to 1-3 in the VOL (tie for fourth place with Central Valley and Weston Ranch).

Second-place Manteca moved to 3-1 in conference play and remained in contention for a Sac-Joaquin section playoff berth. The Buffaloes trail first-place Oakdale and Sierra by one game.

"It's frustrating because we know we have the potential," Justin said. "We should have been in that game."

Manteca limited Ceres High to 188 yards of total offense.

Bulldog quarterback Josh Edwards completed 9 of 19 passes for 81 yards. The junior totaled one touchdown, three interceptions and one fumble.

Canatsy had 54 yards receiving and one TD.

Martino Bertolotti caught three passes for 27 yards.

Brendon Verdugo, Johnny Clark, Richard Gudino and Rajdeep Singh added 37, 32, 15 and 12 yards, respectively, on the ground.

Marquis Miller led Manteca's rushing attack with 128 yards and one touchdown on 21 carries.

Dylan Gonzales, Jacob Salas, Anthony May and James Glidden scored on runs of 72, 9, 3 and 1 yards.

Matt Barber tossed a 26-yard TD pass to Reggie Bell.

Ceres High opened the game with an impressive 10-play, 78-yard drive, capped by Edwards' TD strike to Canatsy in the right corner of the end zone. The Buffaloes couldn't slow down the Bulldogs' no-huddle offense.

Manteca led 20-7 at the break.

"We told our kids all week Ceres is a good football team," Buffaloes head coach Eric Reis said. "I knew they'd have a few wrinkles. We settled down and controlled the line of scrimmage. I'm proud of the effort that I saw tonight. We respected them and played hard."

Manteca continued its dominance over Ceres High.

The Buffaloes haven't lost to the Bulldogs since 1990. They have a perfect 7-0 record during Reis' tenure.

"Fortunately for us, we've been on an upcycle," he said.

Ceres High will host undefeated Sierra (4-0) on Thursday at 7 p.m.

"We're just playing for pride now," Canatsy said.

JV, frosh Bulldogs fall

Manteca set the tone early with a bone-crushing hit on Ceres High's first offensive series.

Standout running back Brent Ward sustained a rib injury during the collision and didn't return for the second half as the Bulldogs fell 41-0 to the first-place Buffaloes in junior-varsity football on Friday in Ceres.

"He wanted to play but we were worried about his safety," Ceres High assistant coach Anthony Dean said.

With the win, the Buffaloes remained undefeated in Valley Oak League play at 4-0. The Bulldogs dropped to 0-4 in the conference standings.

Ceres High quarterback David Brazil completed three of six passes for 60 yards with one interception.

Andrew Cefre amassed 72 yards, including 52 rushing and 20 receiving.

Matt Cardelli caught two passes for 40 yards.

Ward and Jeremy Cagle rushed for 40 and 20 yards, respectively.

Matt Miranda tallied a team-high 12 tackles on defense. George Borden registered 10 tackles. Cagle and Sean Lo both had eight tackles.

Manteca quarterback Matt Burrows connected on 10 of 11 pass attempts for 162 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions.

Jeremiah Walters ran for 66 yards and two scores.

David Farrington had rushing and receiving TDs.

Ryan Culpepper and Brennen Resendes both caught one touchdown pass.

Ceres High trailed 28-0 at halftime.

"We played okay," Dean said. "We were just outmatched. They had too much size and speed."

Buffs, 12, Dawgs, 0

The members of Ceres High's freshman football team headed to Manteca on Thursday with loads of confidence thanks to a 3-0 start in VOL play.

The Buffaloes humbled the Bulldogs 12-0 at Guss Schmiedt Field.

"The kids thought we were going to walk all over them," Ceres High head coach Bill Curlis said. "I don't know where that came from. No team is going to let you win."

The Bulldogs dropped into a three-way tie for first place in the VOL standings at 3-1 with Manteca and Sierra.

Alex Hernandez had two rushing touchdowns for the Buffaloes.

Manteca took a 6-0 lead on his 6-yard score in the first quarter.

Hernandez's 3-yard run put the Buffaloes ahead 12-0 in the third quarter.

"We're lucky it wasn't worse than that," Curlis said. "They just beat us up. They wanted it more. It was a good learning experience for us."

The Bulldogs failed to score for the first time this season as mobile quarterback Bryson Waring faced constant pressure the entire night.

Stymied by Manteca's blitzing defense, Ceres High's offense was held to two first downs and negative yardage.

"We didn't move the ball," Curlis said. "We were three and out on almost every series. The kids panicked."

Ceres High's final three VOL contests will be at home against Sierra, East Union and Central Valley.

The first-place Bulldogs and Timberwolves will battle tomorrow at 3:30 p.m.

"Our season's not over," Curlis said. "We're still tied for first in league."