Central Catholic High School’s varsity football program has a new starting quarterback.
Former Ceres High multi-sport standout Dalton Durossette beat out 2017 starter Kyle Jackson for the job this past week as announced by Raiders’ head coach Roger Canepa.
“He (Canepa) informed me at lunch on Tuesday after we were done watching film,” stated Durossette, a 6-foot-3 215-pound junior. “He said he liked my work ethic, leadership skills and way I support the team. He also told me don’t think I can slack off because I’m the starter. I’m not like that. I’m going to continue to work hard to be the best I can be.”
Durossette and Central Catholic opened the 2018 Valley Oak League season with a 35-28 win over visiting Manteca last Friday at David Patton Field.
“It’s not a win we’re very proud of,” Dalton said. “We made too many mistakes. It was ugly.”
Durossette completed 6 of 9 passes for 157 yards against the Buffaloes.
His longest completion was 53 yards.
“I approached the game like when I was splitting time at quarterback,” Durossette said. “I wasn’t nervous at all. I didn’t feel any added pressure. I was more excited. When we had to throw, we did, and capitalized. Central Catholic is known for running the ball. As long as we win games, I’m fine with that.”
Durossette handed the ball off to Ceres Seahawks youth football product Dawaiian McNeely, who rumbled for 220 yards and two touchdowns versus Manteca.
“I had never met him until I transferred over,” Durossette said. “We’ve built a great relationship. He’s one of the best running backs I’ve seen all the years I’ve been going to high school football games.”
Durossette and Jackson rotated at quarterback as Central Catholic posted a 3-1 record during the preseason.
Dalton completed 20 of 30 passes for 439 yards with five touchdowns and one interception through the Raiders’ first five games.
Durossette tossed three TD passes in the first quarter of Central Catholic’s 47-7 win over Lincoln of Stockton on Sept. 7.
He finished 4-of-5 with 112 yards and one TD during the Raiders’ 33-20 victory against St. Mary’s on Aug. 31.
“Our offensive line is great,” Durossette said. “They’re big, strong athletes. Obviously, without them we wouldn’t be able to run or pass the ball.”
Durossette’s accuracy, arm strength and leadership skills could ultimately help Central Catholic end Oakdale’s dominance in the VOL and make a deep run in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-II playoffs.
“The VOL is one of the toughest leagues around. Oakdale is going to be our biggest competitor."Dalton Durossette
“The VOL is one of the toughest leagues around,” Durossette said. “Oakdale is going to be our biggest competitor. They are every year. We still got to play week six, seven, eight and nine to get to them.”
Durossette transferred to Central Catholic this past spring.
He earned three varsity letters at Ceres High, including one in football, baseball and basketball.
Dalton earned second-team all-Western Athletic Conference honors for his outstanding play on the gridiron as a sophomore last fall.
He completed 135 of 247 passes for 1,709 yards with 16 touchdowns and nine interceptions.
A standout pitcher and infielder on the diamond as a freshman, Durossette was selected to the WAC First Team.
He batted .410 from the plate with one homer, three doubles, 22 RBIs, 34 runs and 11 stolen bases.
Dalton compiled a 7-4 record with a 2.53 ERA, one no-hitter, one shutout, three complete games and 56 strikeouts on the mound.
Durossette averaged 11.0 points and 5.2 rebounds on the hardcourt during the wintertime.
He scored in double figures in 17 of the Bulldogs’ 27 games.
Dalton shot 42 percent from the field, 35 percent from three-point range and 71 percent from the free-throw line.
“I’m humbled to be the starter at Central Catholic,” Durossette said. “I just want what’s best for the program. That was my intent for my teams when I was at Ceres High.”