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Dawgs challenge Jaguars before sustaining 35-20 loss
Ceres High receiver Austin Stiles heads for the end zone in the first quarter during Fridays game at Gregori. Stiles 5-yard TD reception and Austin Crains point-after kick gave the Bulldogs a 7-6 lead. - photo by DALE BUTLER/The Courier

For the second consecutive week, Ceres High's varsity football team challenged its opponent.

Vying for their first win of the 2015 season, the Bulldogs didn't get the result they wanted.

Host Gregori prevailed, 35-20, Friday evening at Don Lanphear Stadium.

"They have a lot of talent," Ceres High junior quarterback Chris Lubinsky said. "They're big and physical up front. They just wore us down."

The Bulldogs dropped to 0-2 on the season.

The Jaguars moved to 2-0.

Modesto High pulled away for a 42-21 win over Ceres High on Aug. 28.

"We're playing competitive football," Lubinsky said. "We've lost to two quality teams. We just need to work on finishing games better."

Lubinsky threw for 280 yards and three touchdowns in defeat.

Chris, who finished 33 of 45, completed 73 percent of his pass attempts.

He got sacked four times and picked off once.

"We moved the ball well even though we didn't have a running game," Lubinsky said. "Hopefully, I continue to make good decisions. I have to be accurate for us to have success."

Lubinsky completed passes to eight different players, including Austin Stiles, Seth Gibson, Nick Jones, Marcellus Boykins, Conner Johnson, Austin Crain, Steven Brown and Juan Palafox.

Stiles grabbed seven passes for 48 yards and one touchdown.

Gibson caught four passes for 50 yards and one TD.

Jones finished with 30 yards and one score on two receptions.

Boykins totaled 71 yards on a team-leading nine catches.

Johnson grabbed seven passes for 59 yards.

Ceres High standout running back Johnni Smith-Willis missed the game with a concussion.

The Bulldogs totaled just 25 yards on the ground versus the Jaguars.

Gibson gained a team-high 16 yards on three carries.

"I thought we did a good job adapting without Johnni," Lubinsky said. "We threw a lot of screens and bubble passes. My arm is fine."

Gregori racked up 393 yards of total offense, including 265 on the ground.

Demetrius Vinson rushed for 105 yards and three touchdowns on 19 carries.

Vinson caught six passes for 40 yards and one score.

Tony Cristobal ran for 138 yards and one TD on seven attempts.

Cam Calton completed 10 of 15 passes for 128 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions.

Ceres High defensive back Adrian Garcia registered a team-high 12 tackles.

Defensive lineman Arturo Barajas tallied 10 tackles and one sack.

Linebacker Aaron Black collected 10 tackles.

Defensive back Wyatt Ogden recorded seven tackles and forced one fumble.

Down 21-13, Ceres High had a potential game-tying drive end in the fourth quarter when it lost a fumble at the Jaguars' 40-yard line.

"After that, the momentum of the game changed," Lubinsky said.

Lubinsky just missed connecting with Stiles on a 45-yard score in the third quarter.

Ceres High trailed 21-7 at halftime.

Stiles' 5-yard TD reception and Crain's point-after kick gave the Bulldogs a 7-6 lead at the 1:02 mark of the first quarter.

The Bulldogs cut the deficit to eight points in the third quarter. Gibson hauled in a 35-yard touchdown pass from Lubinsky.

Gregori outscored Ceres High 14-7 in the final period. Jones had a 7-yard TD catch.

"It was a competitive game," Lubinsky said. "We weren't able to make plays down the stretch. Once we get our run game back, it will make us more dangerous on offense."

Ceres High will host Hughson (2-0) on Friday at 7:30 p.m.

The Huskies won their first two games by shutout. Hughson beat Johansen (34-0) and Waterford (44-0).

"We've seen film on them," Lubinsky said. "They're a pretty physical team. They run the ball well. Their quarterback is accurate and mobile. It should be a good game."