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Head coach Brett Johnson enjoyed every minute of the wild celebration following the Ceres High School varsity football team's nail-biting 22-15 win against Ripon Friday night at Bulldog Stadium.

"Our goal going into the game was to have a chance to win in the fourth quarter," Johnson said. "To pull one out like this is very exciting and a confidence boost. The kids responded when adversity hit."

The long-awaited victory snapped several streaks.

Ceres High ended an 11-game skid dating back to the 2008 season.

The Bulldogs lost their previous 12 season openers prior to last week.

Ceres High's defense secured the win with a goal-line stand in the closing seconds. Ripon's Louie Mejia caught a short pass from Alex Gustin and was stopped at the six-inch line by Bulldog teammates Jeremy Cagle and Nick Welsh.

"I made the tackle at the goal line and Nick hit him back," Cagle said. "I looked down and the ball was on our side of the line. The way it played out is perfect."

Junior Zach Naylor's 71-yard touchdown run broke a 15-all tie with 47 seconds remaining in the third quarter.

Fullback Hadon Lopez and receiver Matt Cardelli both made key blocks during eventual game-winning play.

"We have four or five good running backs," Naylor said. "I was just waiting for my chance. I had some good blocks. I just had to run."

Zach's go-ahead TD scamper came less than 30 seconds after Ripon evened the score.

Naylor watched from the sidelines during Ceres High's final defensive play.

"The whole team went crazy," Naylor said while describing the postgame environment. "It's been a while since we've got to do that. It gave me chills."

"The last time I saw a celebration like that was when we beat Turlock for the Fire Hydrant (in 2003)," Johnson said.

Ceres High took control by outscoring Ripon 15-0 in the opening half.

George Borden fired a 12-yard strike to Cagle at the 7:25 mark of the second quarter. Jeremy made a diving catch in the right-corner of the end zone.

After registering a safety, the Bulldogs embarked on a 11-play, 45-yard scoring drive. Lopez capped the possession with a 1-yard rushing TD.

Ripon battled back in the third quarter.

Gustin tossed a 4-yard TD pass to Jake Mccreath, and Ryan Durrer scored on a 2-yard run.

Ceres High shut out Ripon the rest of the way.

Cagle and the Bulldogs ended years of frustration.

"This is the biggest win I've been a part of," said Jeremy, who was a part of last season's 0-10 team. "It means the world to us. It's big motivation going into the season.

The Bulldogs play host to the Hilmar Yellowjackets this Friday at 7:30 p.m.