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Rough start for Bulldogs
It wasn't exactly the type of start Ceres High's varsity football team envisioned.

The Bulldogs opened their 2007 season with a 33-0 loss to Grace Davis Thursday night at Johansen High School.

"It's disappointing," Ceres High senior quarterback Zack Atchison said, minutes before leaving the stadium and boarding the team bus. "I expected to win to tell you the truth."

The Spartans sucked the energy out of the Bulldogs in the second half. Down 12-0 at intermission, Ceres surrendered 21 points in the third quarter. Quarterback Ryan Torkelson threw a 26-yard TD pass to Trevor Schardijn, Joel Rodgers scored on a 1-yard run and Justin Nesbitt returned a punt 52 yards for a score.

"If we played hard from start to finish, we would have come away with a W," Atchison said. "We made a lot of mistakes. It's our first game. We'll get better."

Forced to punt six times, Ceres mustered just 53 yards of total offense on 42 plays. The Bulldogs also had two turnovers.

Atchison completed 3 of 11 passes for 34 yards.

Ceres had an impressive drive stall in Davis territory in the second quarter. Down 6-0, the Bulldogs marched 54 yards in 10 plays. Atchison was sacked at the Spartans' 33-yard line on fourth down.

Grace Davis tallied four touchdowns and 322 yards on offense.

Torkelson completed 9 of 13 passes for 127 yards with two touchdown passes to Schardijn, the first coming in the second quarter on a 21-yard connection in the left corner of the end zone.

Davis' rushing attack amassed 195 yards and two scores on 35 carries. Rogers led the way with 53 yards and a TD (1).

Hadon Lopez made his debut at middle linebacker for the Bulldogs. The 5-foot-8, 165-pounder didn't perform like a freshman. He registered a game-high 14 tackles.

"It was exciting," Lopez said. "I had some butterflies in my stomach before the game."

Justin Hidahl, Martino Bertolotti, Michael Flores and Matt Smith also contributed on defense. Hidahl and Bertolotti each had nine tackles. Flores collected four tackles and recovered a fumble. Smith added four tackles and a sack.

Ceres coach Brett Johnson addressed his team near midfield after the game. His assessment was very brief for the Bulldogs, who were penalized seven times for 35 yards.

"We got a lot of work to do," he said.

"We got the potential to be great," added Ceres senior lineman Thomas Vanderlaan. "We just got to tap into it."

Said Lopez: "We just need to work better as a team."

Ceres will host Downey on Friday at 7 p.m.