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Frosh Bulldogs defeat Downey
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The Ceres High freshman football team ended its season in impressive fashion on Wednesday in Ceres. Led by Paul Hester, Kevin Reed, Justin Hidahl, Tony Bradford, Brandon Avila and Joseph Salas, the Bulldogs posted an 8-0 victory against Downey in Modesto Metro Conference action.

“It's something positive for the guys to build on,” said Ceres coach Brandon Moring.

The win helped the Bulldogs secure a fifth-place finish in the Modesto Metro Conference standings at 1-4. Ceres compiled a 2-8 overall record.

“Sometimes you can't measure growth or success by win-loss record,” Moring said. “These kids learned a lot. They became a team. They cared for each other. That showed against Downey.

“If they can do what it takes academically, they'll be successful at the JV level.”

The Bulldogs would have probably had a better record if they didn't lose 18 players to eligibility.

“The kids that were out there worked hard at practice to get better each and every day,” Moring said. “It was their work ethic that kept them in ball games.”

Ceres remained competitive despite a lack of depth and experience thanks in part to first-class coaching from Brandon Moring, Ryan Moring, Anthony Dean and Randy Lamberth.

“The only game I felt that we lost was against Pitman,” Brandon said. “It was 42-0.”

The Bulldogs had six takeaways against the Knights. Avila and Bradford both had an interception and a fumble recovery. Salas also picked off a pass.

“We played tremendous defense,” Moring said. “We shut them out. They couldn't move the ball against us.”

Hester registered a safety when he tackled Downey quarterback Mason Hennigan in the end zone with 3:40

remaining in the second quarter.

Salas, Ceres' quarterback, scored on a 20-yard counter-action play on third-and-3 with 59 seconds left in the first half.

“He's a great athlete,” Moring said. “He ran away from the defense and lowered his shoulder.”

The Bulldogs sealed the win late in the fourth quarter. Bradford recovered a muffed punt at the Downey 45-yard line

with two minutes to play.

“We ran two plays and took a knee,” Moring said.

Ceres didn't want to finish the season winless in league.

“It was a great win for the program,” Moring said. “We battled injuries and eligibility. A lot of the guys were up for the challenge.”

All 22 players contributed. - By DALE BUTLER / Staff reporter of the Ceres (Calif.) Courier