Chris Lubinsky and Reuben Rodriguez made their debuts at varsity quarterback for Ceres High and Central Valley, respectively, this past week.
"I thought I'd be more nervous," said Lubinsky, junior-varsity starter for the past two seasons. "I was more excited than anything. It was great to be back there on the field."
"I was definitely nervous before the game," said Rodriguez, who last played quarterback at the JV level in 2013. "I felt comfortable once I got out there. I never let any play get to me. I wanted to do better the next play. I never gave up."
Lubinsky, a 6-foot-3 junior, completed 18 of 30 passes for 236 yards with two touchdowns and one interception during Ceres High's 42-21 loss to Modesto High Friday night at Johansen High's Dan Gonsalves Stadium.
He got sacked once.
"Chris made some good throws," Bulldogs head coach Bret Durossette said. "He made some bad reads. It's his first varsity game. He'll get better. There's nowhere to go but up. He's a talented kid. He has the potential to be one of the best quarterbacks around."
Lubinsky tossed TD passes to Austin Crain (20 yards) and Austin Stiles (80 yards).
"Obviously, if you don't win, you feel like you didn't do enough," Lubinsky said. "I could have done a better job getting the ball out of my hand quicker. I could have made better decisions. I need to be able to recognize things faster. It's something I'll be able to adapt to once the season goes on."
Rodriguez, a 6-foot-tall senior, finished 13 of 30 passing with 166 yards, one touchdown and four interceptions as host Central Valley lost 34-20 to Atwater Friday evening at Bulldog Stadium.
He got sacked three times.
"Reuben played with a lot of passion," Hawks head coach Scott Edwards said. "He took some big hits and kept getting up. He's worthy of being the quarterback and leader of the team. He's going to get better."
Rodriguez tossed a 14-yard TD pass to cousin Robert Nieto in the third quarter.
"I need to be smarter with my reads and more patient with my decision making," Rodriguez said. "It's something I'll get better at as the season goes on."
Lubinsky and Rodriguez both competed behind inexperienced offensive lines.
"We did a decent job of moving the ball," Lubinsky said. "Our receivers and running backs did a great job making plays for us. I feel like I'm going to have to do better if we're going to win football games."
"Once everyone gets on the same page, everything will start clicking," Rodriguez said.