Ceres High's varsity football team tried its best to keep pace with heavily-favored Los Banos during the opening week of Western Athletic Conference play.
The Bulldogs showed flashes of competitiveness in losing 48-20 to the Tigers Friday night in Ceres.
"That's one of the best teams we've played this year," Ceres High running back Andrew Gibson said. "They got size and speed. They're good enough to win the WAC title."
The Bulldogs dropped to 3-3 overall and 0-1 in the WAC standings.
The Tigers improved to 6-0 and 1-0.
Ceres High needs to win three of its final four games to secure a playoff berth.
The Bulldogs last participated in the postseason in 2004.
"There's definitely some pressure on us," Gibson said.
Ceres High sophomore quarterback Dalton Durossette completed 20 of 33 passes for 229 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions.
He also accounted for one of the Bulldogs' two rushing TDs.
Gibson ran for 20 yards and one touchdown on 11 carries.
He totaled 30 yards on four receptions.
Johnny Hutson hauled in five passes for 98 yards and one TD.
David Nichols caught four passes for 38 yards.
Felipe Martinez grabbed four passes for 35 yards.
Martinez registered a team-high nine tackles on defense.
Andrew Alcala had five tackles, one interception and one pass deflection.
Shane Bell added six tackles.
Gibson's lone TD run and Durossette's second point-after kick evened the score at 14-14 three minutes into the second quarter.
"We had some pretty solid drives," Gibson said. "I was excited. I was thinking we had a real shot at winning."
The Tigers outscored the Bulldogs 34-6 the rest of the game, including 13-0 in the fourth quarter.
"Everybody was doing their job at the beginning," Gibson said. "Then we gave up a lot of big plays."
Ceres High will compete at Patterson (5-1, 1-0) this Friday at 7 p.m.
The Bulldogs will try to snap the Tigers' four-game unbeaten streak.
"They're just another team lining up in front of us," Gibson said. "We'll treat it like any other game."