Former Ceres High quarterback Dalton Durossette and Central Catholic High School’s varsity football team moved one step closer to playoff glory this past week in Modesto.
The second-seeded Raiders advanced to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-II championship game with a 31-30 win over third-seeded Inderkum Friday night in wet and rainy conditions at David Patton Field.
“Being able to help this team to a section championship is something I’d never forget,” Durossette said. “It would be pretty special.”
Central Catholic (11-1) handed previously-unbeaten Inderkum (11-1) its first loss of the season.
“That was a great football team,” Durossette said. “It’s one of the best teams we’ve faced this year. For us to come back like that, it shows a lot of character. It wasn’t a pretty win. We can’t blame how we played on the rain. Both teams played in the same weather conditions.”
The Raiders erased a 12-point, halftime deficit on their way to edging out the Tigers.
“Obviously trailing at halftime, there’s a lot going through your mind. You can have a meltdown and quit. We didn’t do that. Everyone still had faith in each other.”Dalton Durossette
“Obviously trailing at halftime, there’s a lot going through your mind,” Durossette said. “You can have a meltdown and quit. We didn’t do that. Everyone still had faith in each other.”
Central Catholic outscored Inderkum 19-6 after intermission.
“We executed our plays,” Durossette said. “We were more disciplined. That’s what changed the game around. We put too much hard work in the season to lose.”
The Raiders relied heavily on their rushing attack as usual, piling up 267 yards and five touchdowns on 35 carries.
Durossette’s 1-yard TD run cut the deficit to 21-12 with less than one minute to play in the opening half.
He completed 5 of 11 passes for 92 yards with no touchdowns and one pick for the game.
“I had incompletions,” he said. “I threw an interception. I didn’t get down on myself. My teammates picked me up.”
Dalton has passed for 1,399 yards with 18 touchdowns and just three picks through Central Catholic’s first 12 games.
Durossette and the Raiders captured the Valley Oak League title with a perfect 6-0 record during the regular season.
“It’s not just me,” he said. “It’s our receivers, line and backs. Every position, we got talent.”
Central Catholic will face top-seeded Del Oro (11-1) in the section finals this Saturday at Sacramento State. Kickoff slated for 2 p.m.
“Del Oro is the No. 1 seed for a reason,” Durossette said. “They’re a great team. But so are we. They’re pretty comparable to us.”
Del Oro upset Central Catholic 23-12 in the semifinals last fall.
Durossette was a spectator at the game.
“The team wants revenge,” he said. “The coaches want revenge. If coach needs me to pass, I’ll be prepared to pass. I’ll do what’s best for the team. I just want to win.”
The Raiders will be vying for their 14th section title in program history.
“At Central Catholic, that’s the expectation,” Durossette said. “That’s what they’re known for.”