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Season Opener
Ceres High's varsity football team opened the regular season with a thud Friday night on the road, losing 51-7 to Grace Davis. The Bulldogs envisioned a much better start to the new year.

"We were prepared," Ceres High head coach Brett Johnson said. "Davis played a great game. For whatever reason, we did not execute. That baffled us."

Everything that could go wrong did for the Bulldogs in the first half when they were outscored 34-0.

Ceres High committed three of its four turnovers in the opening 24 minutes of play.

"We made every mistake you could make," Johnson said. "That's not taking anything away from Davis. They played sound, solid football. They were big, fast and physical."

The Bulldogs managed just 168 yards of total offense.

Josh Edwards, Ceres High's quarterback, completed 10 of 24 passes for 129 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions.

Receiver Justin Canatsy made five catches for 67 yards and a score.

Running back Michael Valenzuela gained a team-high 33 yards on four carries.

"For every good thing we did, there were two bad things that would come up," Johnson said. "We'll be fine once we execute."

Brandon Jolley, Brent Ward and Tony Spinella registered eight, six and five tackles, respectively, for the Bulldogs.

Hadon Lopez, Ceres High's star middle linebacker, was sidelined with a knee injury.

"The thing we missed without him was defensive speed," Johnson said. "We didn't have the wheels to run people down."

The Bulldogs avoided being shut out when Edwards threw a 14-yard TD strike to Justin Canatsy in the fourth quarter.

Ceres High will try to even its record at 1-1 when it hosts Downey this Friday. The non-conference game will get underway at 7:15 p.m.

The Knights opened the 2009 season with a 52-14 loss to visiting Golden Valley last week.

Junior Varsity

Ceres High School's junior-varsity football team overwhelmed Grace Davis in the first half and held on for a season-opening 22-19 victory last Friday at Johansen Stadium.

The Bulldogs maintained a high level of play throughout the contest despite their lack of depth. Ceres High dressed just 18 players for the non-league game.

"They were exhausted at halftime," Bulldogs coach Anthony Dean said. "But they have a lot of heart. They don't like losing. They're competitive."

Ceres quarterback Nick Welsh finished 11 of 13 for 122 yards and one touchdown.

Running back Zach Naylor totaled 156 yards and two scores.

Receiver Ivan Raya had eight receptions for 96 yards.

Binder Atwal hauled in a 26-yard TD pass.

Center Adam Hall, guards Steven Smith and A.J. Fontana, tackles Michael Vasquez and Lucas Tevaseu, and tight end Anthony Amirfar provided the blocking.

"Our offensive line did a great job up front," Dean said.

The Bulldogs led 14-0 at the end of the first quarter.

Welsh and Atwal combined for a touchdown and Naylor scored on a 12-yard run.

The Spartans got within two points on the strength of a pair of long TD passes in the second quarter.

"We came out firing," Dean said.

Naylor added a 27-yard rushing score in the third quarter.

"Our offensive line opened up gaping holes for Zach," Dean said. "And he ran the ball extremely hard."

Ceres High will play host to the Downey Knights (1-0) on Friday at 5 p.m.

"It will be a good test for our team," Dean said.

"We still have a lot of work to do before league."


Ceres High School's freshman football team opened the 2009 season with a 38-7 loss to non-conference opponent Grace Davis Thursday night at Bulldog Stadium.

"We got a lot of guys that have never played before," Ceres High head coach Bill Curlis said. "They were probably all nervous. We'll get better. Last year we lost our first game and ended up being league champs."

The Bulldogs mustered just four first downs on offense, including one in the first half.

Ceres High turned the ball over once and punted three times on its way to falling behind 26-0 in the second quarter.

"That was a pretty good team," Curlis said. "They had size and speed. I'm not upset about losing the game. I just wanted to see more effort out of our boys. We'll look a lot better by the time league comes around."

Blake Hurst accounted for the Bulldogs' lone touchdown when he scored on a 1-yard quarterback sneak with 2:49 to play in the fourth quarter. Devon Ruger added the point-after kick.

"They boys were jumping up and down," Curlis said. "We didn't get shut out."

Ceres High had 40 players dress for the game.

"Everyone got to play," Curlis said.

The Bulldogs will play host to the Downey Knights today at 6 p.m.

"Everybody needs to get better at what they do individually," Curlis said. "If they do that, the team will be fine."