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Frosh win conference championship outright
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The Ceres High freshman football team's magical season ended on Wednesday night at Downey High School.

The Bulldogs won the Modesto Metro Conference championship outright with a 27-14 win against the Knights.

"We beat everybody," said Ceres first-year head coach Josh Leslie. "Nobody can take that away from us."

Ceres compiled a perfect record in league, 5-0, and went 8-2 overall. The Bulldogs won their final seven games.

Downey went 2-3 in league, 3-6-1 overall.

Ceres scored the game's first 13 points, all in the second quarter, when Tony Marquez hauled in a 20-yard pass from Zack Atchison and returned a punt 70 yards for a score.

The Knights outscored the Bulldogs 14-13 in the second half.

Downey got a safety and Cody Ball scored on a 1-yard dive to cut Ceres' lead to 14-8 with 6:16 remaining in the third quarter.

The Bulldogs responded with 13 straight points as they gained 102 yards on the ground on 19 carries.

Zak Muller, Sean McLeod, Colton Gaede, Kenny Brickey, Thomas Vanderlaan, Cameron Moscozo and Miles Valor provided the blocking.

"All of our offensive linemen stepped up," Leslie said.

Derek Mazza's 4-yard touchdown run and Rafael Torres' successful point-after kick, which bounced off the crossbar, helped extend Ceres' lead to 13, 21-8, with 9:55 remaining. The 12-play, 80-yard drive took 6 minutes, 21 seconds off the clock. Marquez and Sam Sanchez had 41 and 29 yards rushing, respectively.

The Bulldogs were forced to punt with 7:42 left in regulation. They got the ball back several minutes later when Anthony Martinez recovered Downey quarterback Bryan Willett's fumble.

Ceres proceeded to march 35 yards on eight plays.

Marquez, Mazza and Sanchez had 15, 5 and 2 yards rushing, respectively. Hunter Adrian hauled in a 13-yard pass from Atchison, who finished off the drive with a 1-yard quarterback sneak.

Ball accounted for the game's final touchdown as he scored from 44 yards out on a run around the right end.

Ceres gained 232 yards of total offense in the game.

The Bulldogs rushed for 158 yards on 35 carries.

Marquez ran for 90 yards on 12 carries.

Sanchez ran for 45 yards on 10 carries.

Atchison completed 6 of 9 passes for 74 yards.

Downey had 187 yards of offense, including 56 passing and 131 rushing on 19 carries.

Willett completed 7 of 10 passes for 45 yards.

Ball rushed for 114 yards on 10 carries. He also caught five passes for 37 yards. - By DALE BUTLER / Staff Reporter of The Ceres (Calif.) Courier