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Knights hammer Bulldogs
Downey High School's varsity football team routed Central Valley 49-21 on Sept. 2.

The Knights completed a sweep of Ceres Unified's programs with a 69-7 rout of Ceres High Friday night at Bulldog Stadium.

Ceres High found itself in a 62-0 hole at halftime after Downey junior quarterback Aaron Zwahlen threw for 374 yards and seven touchdowns. Zwahlen almost tied a national record for TD passes in a half. He tied a state mark and broke a NorCal record.

Knight receivers Caleb Lowe (6-163) and Conner Purnell (5-88) each scored three times.

"We knew Downey was a passing team, but we didn't expect them to be so explosive," Ceres High running back/linebacker Zach Naylor said. "It was shocking because they scored so fast. They were just quicker than us and executed more."

The Bulldogs dropped to 0-3 on the year.

The Knights improved to 2-1.

Ceres High quarterback Blake Hurst finished 10-for-16 with 107 yards and one touchdown.

James Rice caught five passes for 32 yards. He had an 11-yard TD catch in the fourth quarter.

Ceres High mustered just 26 rushing yards.

"Obviously, we're doing something wrong," Bulldogs head coach Bret Durossette said. "We have to get better each week. That's going to be our goal. We're fighting to bring back a winning tradition."

Naylor last suited up for Ceres High during Week 6 of the 2010 season. Zach's been sidelined because of health-related issues. He hasn't made a full recovery from internal-organ injuries sustained against Central Catholic.

"I really didn't think I was going to play this year," said Naylor, who carried the ball five times against Downey. "Then a random phone call cleared me. It felt good to be back out there. I'm really exhausted."

Downey fans chanted "This game's over" as the final seconds ticked off the scoreboard in the the opening half. The Knights reeled off 35 points in the first quarter and 27 in the second period.

"They completely outplayed us in every aspect of the game," Durossette said. "My hat goes off to them. They have a really good football team."

Ceres High will play host to East Union (0-2) Friday night at 7.

"We're tired of losing," Naylor said. "We just want to win. We have the talent. We just have to execute."

Frosh Bulldogs earn first victory

Ceres High School's freshman football team broke into the win column for the first time this season last week.

The Bulldogs edged visiting Downey 14-13 on Friday.

Ceres High improved to 1-2 on the year. The Bulldogs have a combined record of 0-6 at the varsity and junior-varsity levels.

"We're just happy to get the win," Bulldogs head coach Scott Smith said. "We're getting better every day. We have a good group of kids. It's up to them to change the perception of Ceres High School football. It starts at the freshman level."

Danny Arias' 73-yard kickoff return touchdown and Cesar Espinoza's PAT gave Ceres High a 14-13 lead with four minutes to play.

"He (Arias) did exactly what we told him to do," Smith said. "He just outran everyone. He hit another level."

Arias also filled the stat sheet while starring at linebacker.

Danny tallied 10 tackles, three sacks, three pass deflections, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. He hit Downey's quarterback seven times.

"He was a beast on defense," Smith said.

Ceres High outscored Downey 7-6 in the opening half.

Brad Bussard threw a 64-yard touchdown pass to Derek Avila in the first quarter.

The Bulldogs' defense forced three turnovers.

Downey's potential, game-winning drive ended with an interception near midfield. Ceres High cornerback Izaiah Hernandez picked off the desperation pass with 56 seconds left in regulation.

"This is a big win for us," Smith said. "This will feed their appetite. They want that feeling again."