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Oakdale pulls away from Ceres High
One week after almost knocking Sonora off the unbeaten list, Ceres High's varsity football team played defending Valley Oak League champion Oakdale tough for close to three quarters.

In the end, the Bulldogs couldn't overcome six turnovers Friday night in Ceres as they fell 31-9 to the Mustangs.

"We should still have our heads up," Ceres High sophomore middle linebacker/running back Hadon Lopez said. "We gave it our all."

The Bulldogs dropped to 0-5 on the year, including 0-2 in the VOL standings.

The Mustangs moved to 3-2 overall and 2-0 in conference play.

Ceres High lost 49-12 at Oakdale in 2007. The Bulldogs faced a 36-point halftime deficit.

Lopez rushed for a career-high 103 yards on 18 carries, and tallied 11 tackles during the rematch. He was slowed by a left shoulder injury after intermission.

Junior fullback Brandon Jolley had a 7-yard TD run.

Junior quarterback Josh Edwards finished with 96 yards on 10 of 21 passing with four interceptions. The first-year starter totaled 331 yards and five touchdowns in a 35-34 loss to Sonora on Oct. 10 at Bulldog Stadium.

"I regressed this week," he said.

Oakdale scored 17 points off Ceres High's mistakes, including back-to-back touchdowns in a two-minute, 33-second span in the second half, to grab a commanding 24-3 lead

The Bulldogs trailed by just seven points, 10-3, with 2:30 remaining in the third quarter.

"They started taking control of the game and we lost confidence," Ceres High lineman Justin Hidahl said. "We just stopped believing in ourselves."

Added Lopez: "There was a drop in intensity."

Ceres High play at Weston Ranch (2-3, 1-1) on Friday. The VOL contest will begin at 7 p.m.

•Freshmen beat Mustangs

Ceres High's freshman football team gathered near midfield at the Corral following Thursday night's 14-6 upset victory over previously-unbeaten Oakdale.

"The kids were amped up,'" Bulldogs head coach Bill Curlis said. "I've never seen them like that. Beating Sonora gave us a little momentum."

With the win, Ceres High improved to 3-2 overall and 2-0 in the Valley Oak League.

The Mustangs dropped to 4-1 on the year, including 1-1 in conference play.

The Bulldogs hadn't beaten Oakdale on the gridiron at any level since 1994-95 when quarterback Oscar Ruiz and receiver Chris Pombo combined for two touchdowns, and running back John Zaragoza rumbled for a 97-yard score in a 21-14 victory.

"I hope this becomes a habit," Curlis said.

Ceres High quarterback Bryson Waring tallied two touchdowns against Oakdale in the 2008 showdown.

Running back Zach Naylor scored once.

"We weren't afraid of them," Curlis said. "Physically, we beat them up. That usually doesn't happen to Oakdale."

The Bulldogs led 6-0 at intermission.

Waring scored on a 4-yard quarterback sneak in the second quarter.

"We really brought it from the opening kickoff," Curlis said. "I'm not surprised. They're starting to practice better. They're finally starting to play together."

Early in the fourth quarter, Waring tossed an 8-yard TD pass to Naylor. Jr. Moniz's subsequent two-point conversion catch made it a 14-0 game.

Ceres High will play host to Weston Ranch (0-2 VOL) this Thursday at Bulldog Stadium. The contest will begin at 6 p.m.