Winless and scoreless through its first three games, Ceres High’s varsity football team strived to end both streaks while competing against Lathrop last week on the road.
The Bulldogs tallied two touchdowns during Friday night’s 30-14 Western Athletic Conference season-opening loss to the Spartans.
“It’s a relief we put points on the scoreboard but it’s still not good enough because we did not win the ball game."res High senior quarterback/linebacker Felipe Martinez
“It’s a relief we put points on the scoreboard but it’s still not good enough because we did not win the ball game,” Ceres High senior quarterback/linebacker Felipe Martinez said.
The Bulldogs dropped to 0-4 overall and 0-1 in the WAC standings.
Previously-winless Lathrop improved to 1-3 and 1-0.
Ceres High generated a season-high 158 yards of total offense in defeat.
“Offensively, it was a big step forward,” Martinez said. “It shows what type of team we can be. We clicked a lot more. We mainly focused on perfecting the plays we already knew. It felt good to see the whole team be competitive.”
Martinez tossed a 10-yard TD pass to Fernando Sosa in the opening quarter.
Bulldog all-purpose player Andrew Alcala scored on a 3-yard run in the fourth quarter.
Felipe watched from the sidelines the previous week against West.
“I take full responsibility for missing practice,” Martinez said. “It was hard not being in the game. It made me 10 times more hungry and intense for this game.”
Ceres High faced a manageable 13-7 deficit at intermission.
The Bulldogs grabbed their first lead of the season when Martinez and Sosa combined for a touchdown in the first period.
“Coach’s play call was nice,” Martinez said. “I knew I had to get the ball as fast as I could to Fernando and let him make the play.”
Lathrop outscored Ceres High 17-7 during the second half.
The Bulldogs ended weeks of frustration by breaking into the scoring column for the first time against the Spartans.
Ceres High had gone 12 straight quarters without a touchdown.
“You could feel the energy from the players, coaches and stands when we scored,” Martinez said. “It brought a whole level of excitement to the field. It gave us a reason to be excited.”
The Bulldogs will play host to the Beyer Patriots (0-4, 0-1) this Friday at 7 p.m.
“It starts at practice,” Martinez said. “Everybody has to be focused. If we have that all week, we should have a chance to win. They’re a beatable team.”
The Manteca Bulletin contributed to this report.