Vying for its first win of the 2016 campaign, Ceres High's varsity football team battled host Hughson Friday night.
The Bulldogs broke out of a scoring slump in losing 55-38 to the Huskies in non-conference play.
Ceres High totaled just 20 points the previous two weeks.
"It was a shootout," Ceres High senior quarterback Chris Lubinsky. "They'd score. We'd score. It kept going back and forth. We just made a few mistakes that cost us. It was a fun game to be a part of. You got to respect what they do. Hughson has a good team. They're well-coached. They're very disciplined in what they do on both sides of the ball. They execute really well. They're a big, strong, physical team."
The Bulldogs dropped to 0-3 on the year.
The Huskies improved to 3-0 overall.
"A lot can happen between now and the end of the season," Lubinsky said. "We still have seven games left to play. We're going to do whatever we can to win as many of them."
Ceres High lost despite totaling 555 yards and six touchdowns on offense.
The Bulldogs contributed to their own downfall by committing three turnovers.
"Our offense was in a groove," Lubinsky said. "Coach Brandon Moring called the plays. He did a great job of mixing things up."
Lubinsky threw for a career-high 421 yards with four touchdowns and one interception while completing 31 of his 42 pass attempts.
He also ran for 15 yards and one TD on four carries.
Chris completed passes to seven different players during the course of the game.
Marcellus Boykins caught eight passes for 136 yards and two touchdowns.
Tight end Conner Johnson, who was sidelined the previous game with an ankle injury, hauled in 11 passes for 128 yards and one TD.
Wyatt Ogden grabbed four passes for 64 yards and one score.
Junior Andrew Gibson rushed for a career-high 98 yards and one touchdown on 17 carries.
Gibson totaled 49 yards on five receptions.
"We're finally starting to get our offense in sync," Lubinsky said. "That's a positive. Having Conner back helped a lot. He's a big leader on our team. Our offensive line did a great job protecting me and creating holes for Andrew. It makes our entire offense better when we're running the ball."
Ogden racked up a team-high 14 tackles on defense.
Zyier Harrison had eight tackles.
Junior Isaac Santana collected four tackles and recovered one fumble.
Gibson chipped in with three tackles and one sack.
Ceres High couldn't slow down Hughson running back Griffin Genzoli, who totaled a career-high seven touchdowns. He's scored 13 times on the ground this season.
"He had a great game," Lubinsky said. "He's not overly fast. He's tough to bring down. He gets a lot of yards after contact."
Ceres High will play at Johansen (0-3) this Friday. The Vikings lost 65-13 to East Union, 54-0 to Delhi and 27-0 to Hughson.
The non-conference game will get underway at 7 p.m.
Johansen has a new offensive coordinator in 1989 Ceres High grad Donnie Donaldson.
Donaldson propelled the Bulldogs to an appearance in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-II championship game in 1988. He threw for 254 yards and scored once on the ground as Ceres High suffered a heart-breaking 14-12 loss to Los Banos.
Donaldson was inducted into the Bulldogs' Athletic Hall of Fame in 2008.
"It's just another game on the schedule," Lubinsky said. "If we execute and play to our ability, we'll have a chance to win the game."