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Dawgs grind out 36-14 win over Patriots
Ethan Oiterong
Ethan Oiterong and Ceres High’s football team defeated Beyer 36-14 in Western Athletic Conference play on Friday in Modesto. - photo by DALE BUTLER/Ceres Courier

A week removed from opening the Western Athletic Conference season with a disappointing 19-16 loss to Lathrop, Ceres High’s football team bounced back with a 36-14 win over Beyer on Friday at Johansen.

The Bulldogs grinded out the victory as the upset-minded Patriots put up a fight for three-plus quarters.

“There was frustration early,” Ceres High third-year quarterback Landyn Hudson said. “We didn’t execute like we should. We gave them hope. But we fixed our problems.”

The Bulldogs improved to 4-1 overall and 1-1 in the WAC.

The Patriots dropped to 0-5 and 0-2.

When asked if Ceres High underestimated Beyer, Bulldogs’ head coach Brett Johnson said: “I hope our kids weren’t looking at records. That would go against our philosophy we’ve been preaching. It doesn’t matter who you’re playing. Your job is to compete regardless who’s on the other side. If you overlook an opponent, you’re going to get yourself into trouble.”

Added Hudson: “I don’t think we underestimated them. They tried their hardest to stay in the game. They put up a fight. I give Beyer a lot of credit.”

The Bulldogs relied heavily on their running game.

Ceres High piled up 252 yards and four touchdowns on 38 carries.

“We kept the ball on the ground and they couldn’t stop us,” Hudson said. “I’m okay if we run the ball and I have five pass attempts. At the end of the day, we want to win games.”

Hudson rushed for 89 yards and four touchdowns, both career-high totals, on 10 carries.

He completed 10 of 16 passes for 73 yards with no touchdowns and one interception.

“The coaches called a few designed runs for me,” Hudson said. “I love playing physical. I’m not the fastest guy on the field. I’m not afraid to stick my nose into a pile.”

Tarrell Lee-Gill ran for 110 yards on 15 carries.

He grabbed three passes for 10 yards.

Josh Prestridge gained 29 yards on six attempts.

Ernesto Miranda carried the ball five times for 20 yards.

Lebron Stallworth (22 yards) and Ricky Stanley (16 yards) both had two receptions.

Ethan Oiterong (17 yards) caught one pass.

Ceres High’s defense limited Beyer’s offense to 225 yards, 118 of which came on two plays.

Izaiah Rodriguez returned a fumble for a touchdown.

Stallworth blocked a punt out of the back of the end zone for a safety.

Reis Smith and Faiva Taukalau each had one interception.

Kahmi Smith forced one fumble.

Ceres High led 14-7 at the break.

Down 7-6, Rodriguez returned Kahmi Smith’s forced fumble 26 yards for a TD late in the second quarter. Lee-Gill added the 2-point conversion run.

“That was a huge momentum change,” Johnson said.

“There was a little bit of frustration,” Hudson said. “We had a few miscues. I knew no matter what we were going to win the game because of how good our defense is.”

The Bulldogs outscored the Patriots 22-7 after intermission.

Beyer had trouble slowing down Ceres High’s rushing attack.

“Physically, we started beating them down,” Hudson stated. “We want to play smash-mouth, bully football. That works well for us. If teams want to give us a one-high safety look, we have no problem passing the ball.”

Coach Johnson emptied his bench in midway through the fourth quarter. Ceres High has a total of 54 players on its roster this year.

“We finished the game without it being a nail-biter,” Johnson said. “We wished we could have played everybody.”

Ceres High will face Johansen (0-5, 0-2) this Friday on the road.

Kickoff slated for 7 p.m.

“We got to get better,” Johnson said. “We have to be focused from start to finish. We have to be consistent and disciplined.”