Ceres High’s football team dropped out of contention for the Western Athletic Conference title this past week.
The Bulldogs got within a score late in the third quarter before losing 55-42 to visiting Los Banos on Senior Night Friday evening at CUSD Stadium.
“I expected us to win the game,” Ceres High junior quarterback Landyn Hudson said. “We didn’t get the job done. We all could have played better.”
The Bulldogs’ conference title hopes took a major hit with the setback.
Ceres High (5-3, 3-2) dropped from second to fourth in the WAC.
Los Banos (3-4, 3-1) moved into a tie for second place in league with Lathrop (5-2, 3-1).
Grace Davis (8-0, 5-0) has a two-game lead over Ceres High in the conference standings.
“Obviously, we wanted a league title,” Hudson said. “It’s a longshot now. But we don’t have to win league to get into playoffs.”
Hudson threw for 283 yards and five touchdown passes.
Verlis Smith caught five passes for 86 yards and three TDs.
“Having him on offense is amazing,” Hudson said. “He’s big, physical and fast. Our chemistry is off the charts. We got a solid connection.”
Tarrell Lee-Gill ran for 85 yards and one touchdown on nine carries.
He had 81 yards and one TD on three receptions.
Josh Prestridge rushed for 75 yards and one touchdown on eight carries.
Lebron Stallworth totaled 33 yards and one TD on three catches.
Eli Beltran caught one pass for 69 yards.
The two teams scored a combined 97 points.
The Bulldogs trailed 33-21 at intermission.
Los Banos sophomore quarterback David Herrera and Tiger senior receiver Joseph Archutowski combined for a touchdown in the waning seconds of the first half.
Down 41-21, Ceres High reeled off two touchdowns to cut the deficit to six with 1:02 remaining in the third quarter.
Stallworth caught a 7-yard TD pass from Hudson and Prestridge scored on a 35-yard run.
The Tigers outscored the Bulldogs 14-7 the rest of the game.
“It’s the best defensive team we’ve played against this season,” Hudson said. “They were big and physical up front—constant pressure in my face. They were hitting me everywhere—head, back and knees.”
Ceres High’s defense allowed a season-high 55 points in defeat.
The Bulldogs’ first seven opponents totaled just 76 points.
Mikey Rivera collected a team-high 11 tackles against the Tigers.
Kahmi Smith tallied 10 tackles.
Stallworth chipped in with eight tackles.
Beltran registered seven tackles and blocked three point-after kicks.
Tavion Travis made six tackles, forced one fumble and recovered one fumble.
Prestridge and Donivan Turley both made five tackles.
Thomas Lopez had four tackles.
“Their offense was better than what I expected,” Hudson said.
The Tigers spoiled the Bulldogs’ Senior Night.
Los Banos also snapped Ceres High’s three-game winning streak.
“They wanted it more than us,” Hudson said. “But we fought until the end.”
Ceres High will face Mountain House (3-5, 3-2) on the road this Friday.
Kickoff slated for 7 p.m.
“I think we’ll come back stronger,” Hudson said. “We got to get better as a team.”