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Bulldogs rally past Spartans
• Defense forces four turnovers in 14-6 victory
Izzy Ramirez scored on a 15-yard run in the third quarter of last Thursday’s season-ending 14-6 win over host Grace Davis at Modesto Junior College. - photo by Contributed

Ceres High’s frosh-soph football team closed out the 2018 campaign with a hard-fought 14-6 win over host Grace Davis last Thursday at Modesto Junior College.

“I thought we could be competitive and we were. We had fewer mistakes.”
Bulldogs’ coach Darrell Long

“I worried about Davis all season because we had a tough time with them at the scrimmage,” Bulldogs’ head coach Darrell Long said. “I thought we could be competitive and we were. We had fewer mistakes.”

Ceres High finished 4-6 overall and fifth in the Western Athletic Conference standings (3-4).

“It’s more than respectable given what we’ve been through the past few years,” said Long, whose team had a combined record of 0-20 the previous two seasons. “We were in every game with the exception of Lodi and Beyer. I attribute our success to the system (first-year varsity head coach) Matt Chachere brought in. The kids ate it up like free popcorn. You could see their confidence grow. Every player got better.”

Bulldog running back Izzy Ramirez totaled 125 yards and one touchdown on 23 carries.

Nicolas Angulo returned a kickoff 65 yards for a TD.

Ryan Beffa collected a team-high 16 tackles.

Verlis Smith had six tackles and one fumble recovery.

Adrian Martinez, Nevin St. Germaine-Norem and Ryan Ashby all recovered one fumble.

Roberto Tiscareno made both of his point-after kicks.

Ceres High led 7-6 at halftime.

The Spartans scored first with 4:06 to play in the first quarter.

Angulo returned the ensuing kickoff 65 yards for a TD and Tiscareno booted the PAT to give the Bulldogs a one-point advantage.

Ceres High’s second TD drive covered 55 yards. Ramirez scored on a 15-yard run and Tiscareno added the PAT to extend the Bulldogs’ lead to eight points at the 2:35 mark of the third quarter.

Ceres High’s defense forced four fumbles, including three during the second half.

“Our defense did really well, especially in the latter part of league,” Long said. 

The Bulldogs ended the season on a positive note by winning three of their final five games.

“I’m very proud of our players,” Long said. “They were eager to learn. They were football smart. They were athletic. They got better as their confidence grew. If we played all 10 games again, I’m sure we could do better than 4-6.”