Ceres High’s varsity football team didn’t do itself any favors during last week’s Western Athletic Conference showdown with Mountain House.
The Bulldogs committed a season-high five turnovers in losing 50-35 to the Mustangs Friday night at CUSD Stadium.
“We had a good game plan,” head coach Matt Chachere said. “We didn’t take care of the football. It doesn’t matter what level you’re playing at. It’s hard to recover from that many turnovers.”
Ceres High and Mountain House had a combined record of 0-16 prior to facing off.
The Mustangs (1-8, 1-5) returned home with their first victory of the season.
The Bulldogs dropped to 0-9 overall and 0-6 in league.
“Even though we were both winless coming into the game, I thought we had the advantage. We had better athletes than them.”QB Bryce Piatt
“Even though we were both winless coming into the game, I thought we had the advantage,” sophomore quarterback Bryce Piatt said. “We had better athletes than them.”
“It’s been a long season,” Chachere said. “I feel bad for the seniors.”
Piatt completed 19 of 36 passes for a career-high 306 yards with two touchdowns and five interceptions in defeat.
Sophomore Verlis Smith caught eight passes for 131 yards and one TD.
Fernando Sosa had an 80-yard touchdown reception.
Aaron Delgado totaled 95 yards on seven catches.
Amare Padilla rushed for a team-high 47 yards on 12 carries.
Montrell Block and Elias Saldana both had one rushing TD.
Ceres High challenged Mountain House in the opening half.
Sophomore defensive back Nate Magallon’s 45-yard interception return touchdown and Victor Hurtado’s point-after kick cut the deficit to 26-21 with less than one minute remaining in the second quarter.
Down by just five points, Ceres High allowed Mountain House to seize control in the third quarter with three quick scores.
“I thought the momentum was on our side,” Chachere said. “Any excitement we had went right out the window.”
Saldana, a third-year varsity player, thrilled Ceres High teammates, coaches and fans earlier in the game when he scored his first career touchdown.
He took a direct snap from the 1-yard line and barreled into the end zone three minutes into the second period.
“It was pretty awesome,” Chachere said. “It’s not every day an offensive lineman gets to score a TD. I wanted to reward him. He’s worked so hard. He’s the heart and soul of our team.”
“It meant a lot for him to go out of his way to try to get me a TD,” said Saldana, a 6-foot-tall 250-pound senior. “I’m grateful for the opportunity. It was a great feeling to put some points on the board for the team. All throughout the week, we practiced the play.”
Ceres High will close out the 2019 season with a home game against second-place Grace Davis (7-2, 4-2) on Senior Night this Friday at CUSD Stadium.
“Knowing what their record is, we’re not going to lie down,” Saldana said. “It’s our last chance to try to get a win. There’s no reason it shouldn’t be a good game.”
“It’s going to be a hard game,” Piatt stated. “But I know a win is still possible. We’re going to play with a lot of energy.”
“It’s the seniors’ last game,” Chachere added. “We’re playing for them.”