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Newcomer Bussard passes for 437 yards and six touchdowns in CHS season opener
Bulldogs lose 74-41 to speed-laden Panthers
Gabriel Solis (9) blocks for Ceres High teammate Danny Arias (33) during a kickoff return in the opening half versus Modesto High. - photo by DALE BUTLER/The Courier

Ceres High's and Modesto High's varsity football teams combined for 115 points, 1,185 yards and 17 touchdowns.

The host Panthers won the non-conference season-opening game, 74-41, Friday night at Downey's Chuck Hughes Stadium.

"Our offense put up enough points to put us in the game," Bulldogs junior quarterback Brad Bussard said. "On defense, things weren't going our way. We were prepared. They had speed on us."

Bussard filled the stat sheet while making his varsity debut with Ceres High (0-1).

Brad completed 27 of 44 passes for 437 yards and six touchdowns, but also had three interceptions.

"I'm shocked," Bussard said. "I thought I had 300 yards. There are not many quarterbacks in California that put up those kinds of numbers. But I'm focused more on winning. I need to improve. I need to make smarter reads."

Ceres High receiver Dylan Canatsy caught 10 passes for 184 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

Jimmy Bates had four catches for 68 yards and two scores. He also registered six tackles and recovered one fumble.

Junior Juan Anderson hauled in four passes for 57 yards and one touchdown.

Gabriel Solis finished with 43 yards and one TD on four receptions.

Junior Brent Bussard rushed for 46 yards on 14 carries. He also collected one-and-a-half sacks.

Domingo Bermudez made a team-high 10 tackles.

Tyree Williams, Ceres High's best athlete, missed the game with a collarbone injury. The sophomore would have started at running back and linebacker.

"He would have helped us a lot more on defense," Brad Bussard said.

Modesto High totaled 11 touchdowns and 691 yards of offense.

Quarterback Tiki Tonga threw for 212 yards and three touchdowns. He also rushed for 102 yards and one score.

Running back Antonio Perez rumbled for 225 yards and four TDs on 13 carries.

Josh Brady gained 29 yards and scored twice on six attempts.

Lovell Collins, Will Gallo and Nathan King all had one touchdown reception.
Frankie Calderon had three picks on defense.

The Panthers outscored the Bulldogs 47-20 in the opening half.

Ceres High committed four turnovers during the game.

"We took a step backwards from our scrimmage," Brad Bussard said. "That's not us. We'll improve. It's tough to stop our offense. If our defense steps up, we can surprise people."

The Bulldogs may have to rely on Brad to carry the load again this week if Tyree misses his second straight game. Bussard was a second-team, all-league pitcher on Ceres High's varsity baseball team last spring.

"It's totally fine," Brad Bussard said when asked how his shoulder and arm felt after attempting 44 passes against Modesto High.

Ceres High will play at Gregori (1-0) this Friday at 7:30 p.m.

"We need to stop their running game," Bussard said. "That's their bread and butter."