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Shorthanded Bulldogs win in thrilling fashion
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Adam Castellanos’ 2-yard touchdown run with 19 seconds to play propelled Ceres High School’s freshman football team to a 27-21 win against host Patterson last Thursday.

The Bulldogs managed to beat the Tigers despite competing shorthanded for three-plus quarters of the Western Athletic Conference contest.

Isaac Santana, a key player, suffered a left knee injury midway through the first quarter.

Santana contributes at quarterback, running back and linebacker.

“There were a mixture of emotions after the game,” head coach Darrell Long said. “We didn’t know what the extent of the injury was. His mom called me. The preliminary report from the emergency room was they couldn’t see anything in the X-rays. He might be able to play in two weeks. His spirits are good.”

Ceres High improved to 4-4 on the year and 2-1 in the WAC standings.

Patterson dropped to 1-2 in conference play.

Andrew Gibson led the Bulldogs’ rushing attack.

He gained 137 yards and scored one touchdown on 11 carries.

Castellanos ran for 82 yards and one TD on six carries.

David Nichols added 65 yards and one score on six carries.

Stephen Taylor completed 10 of 16 passes for 125 yards and one touchdown to Jose DeLeon.

“It was very competitive,” Long said. “Fortunately, it worked out for us. It’s our first road win. The boys stepped up.”

Tied at 21-all, Ceres High recovered Patterson’s onside-attempt kick with 1:44 to play.

“We didn’t want to take a chance,” Long said. “We milked as much time off the clock as possible before scoring.”

Taylor set up the Bulldogs’ second-to-last TD with a 28-yard pass to Nichols. Nichols’ 2-yard TD run and Castellanos’ 2-point conversion gave Ceres High a 21-13 lead with 3:34 left in regulation.

Ceres High and Patterson traded scores while battling to a 13-13 tie in the opening half.

Gibson capped off the Bulldogs’ first TD drive with a 20-yard run. Jay Gomes added the point-after kick.

Taylor threw a 30-yard TD pass to DeLeon in the second quarter.

 “Our defense played better in the second half,” Long said.