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Bulldogs edge out Gauchos
Seth Gibson and Ceres High will play host to crosstown-rival Central Valley on Friday at 7 p.m. - photo by DALE BUTLER/The Courier

Ceres High School's varsity football team had its hands full Friday night when it faced host El Capitan.

The Bulldogs battled back from a 13-point deficit on their way to defeating the Gauchos 44-35 Friday night in Merced.
Ceres High snapped a two-game losing streak.

"Our kids executed," Bulldogs head coach Bret Durossette said.

Ceres High junior quarterback Chris Lubinsky tossed for 368 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions.

Lubinsky distributed the ball to six difference players while completing 25 of 33 pass attempts.

"He's tall," Durossette said. "He's got a strong arm. He's a competitor. He kind of reminds me of (former Ceres High star quarterback) Derrick Goblirsch."

Austin Stiles caught nine passes for 165 yards and three touchdowns.

"He dropped a few passes early in the game and bounced back," Durossette said.

Marcellus Boykins grabbed five passes for 100 yards.

Conner Johnson totaled 37 yards on four receptions.

Seth Gibson added 25 yards on four catches.

Ceres High running back Johnni Smith-Willis totaled 39 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries.

Smith-Willis' lone reception covered 28 yards.

Aaron Black scored twice on the ground.

Ceres High committed no turnovers on offense.

Black racked up 11 tackles on defense.

Isaac Leon had 10 tackles and one pass deflection.

Wyatt Ogden had 10 tackles

Smith-Willis had five tackles, two quarterback hurries and one fumble recovery.

Nick Jones had four tackles, one interception and one pass deflection.

Jamal Ofisa tallied three tackles and forced one fumble.

Gabriel Heredia intercepted one pass.

Ceres High and El Capitan each scored 24 points in the opening half.

The Bulldogs showed a lot of fight in battling back from a 13-0 first-quarter deficit.

Ceres High scored 13 points off a pair of El Capitan turnovers during the course of the game.

"El Capitan is good," Durossette said. "We didn't quit. We got after it."

Two weeks earlier, Ceres High suffered a deflating 64-57 loss while battling Pacheco.

Lubinsky and Stiles played key roles in leading the Bulldogs past the Tigers last week.

They make up one of the top quarterback-receiver duos in the Stanislaus District.

"Chris is doing exactly what I thought he would do," Durossette said. "He can get a lot better. I'm glad Austin decided to play last year."

Ceres High will host second-place Central Valley (6-3, 4-1) this Friday at 7 p.m.

The Bulldogs snapped a seven-year losing streak against the Hawks with a 24-7 victory in 2014.

"It's going to be a good game," Durossette said.