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Dawgs compete
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The Ceres High varsity football team had a respectable showing on the road last week.

The Bulldogs kept the game close for three quarters before Calaveras pulled away for a 35-21 victory in non-conference play Friday night.

"Our lack of depth really hurt us," coach Brett Johnson said. "We couldn't quite keep up towards the end. They wore us down."

Ceres dropped to 0-3 on the year.

The Redksins improved to 2-1 overall.

"We got a ways to go but we're a lot closer now to where we want to be compared to the start of the year," Johnson said. "We've improved each week."

The banged-up Bulldogs suited up just 30 players against Calaveras.

Brandon Avila (receiver/defensive back) and Marcus Hilgen (tailback/defensive back) didn't play due to thigh and hamstring injuries.

Ceres' Hadon Lopez, Zack Atchison, Michael Staggs, Matt Smith and Michael Flores were injured during the game.

Flores rolled an ankle, Smith re-aggravated a calf injury, Staggs sustained a deep thigh bruise and Atchison suffered a stinger.

Lopez did not return after banging up his right knee in the beginning of the third quarter. The freshman middle linebacker tallied nine tackles. Recovery time will depend on the severity of the injury.

"He was able to walk on it, which is a good sign," Johnson said. "We're hoping for the best."

The Bulldogs totaled 214 yards of offense.

Atchison completed 8 of 17 passes for 120 yard with two touchdowns and an interception.

Martino Bertolotti caught his second TD pass of the season, a 70-yarder.

Smith added a 2-yard TD reception.

Ceres' rushing attack gained 94 yards on 31 carries.

The Redskins piled up 312 yards rushing on 50 carries.

Calaveras' Brooks Hullet opened the scoring with a 4-yard run in the first quarter.

In the second quarter, Bertolotti and Atchison teamed up for a score to make it 7-7.

Dylan Hodgson's 2-yard run and Clint Jones' second PAT gave the Redskins a 14-7 lead at the break.

"We played tough the first half," Johnson said. "We battled."

Calaveras increased its lead to 21-7 when Hodgson scored on an 8-yard run in the third quarter.

Atchison cut the deficit to eight, 21-13, with a 2-yard strike to Smith.

Calaveras responded with back-to-back TDs.

Hullet scored on a 2-yard run late in the third quarter.

Jake Mote added a 9-yard rushing score in the fourth quarter.

Down 35-13, Atchison scrambled for an 11-yard touchdown and completed a two-point conversion pass to Smith to bring the Bulldogs within 14.

Ceres' homecoming game against Valley Oak League rival Manteca (3-0) will be held this Friday at 7 p.m. The Buffaloes enter the contest with the state's longest active winning streak (23 straight). The Bulldogs have compiled a 1-15 record against Manteca since 1989.

"Our goal each week is to improve," Johnson said. "With a young group of kids, you have to be patient."