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Host Oakdale challenged Ceres High School's varsity boys soccer team for over 50 minutes.

A three-goal outburst in a five-minute span in the second half helped the Bulldogs pull away for a 5-1 victory over the Mustangs last Thursday under portable lights.

"I thought it would be harder because it was Senior Night at their home," Ceres High forward David Estrada said.

Added Bulldogs head coach Koeurn Phe: "We executed."

The win, coupled with third-place East Union's 3-2 setback to Weston Ranch, locks up one of the Valley Oak League's two playoff berths for Ceres High.

The first-place Bulldogs (9-0-2) hold a one-point lead in the conference standings over Central Valley (9-1-1). The previously unbeaten Hawks had to forfeit last week's win over Sonora for using an ineligible player.

"We accomplished one of our goals," Phe said. "We're still on a mission for the league title."

Estrada tallied four goals against the Mustangs to push his season total to 16.

Fellow forward Luis Martinez collected his seventh and eighth assists.

Midfielder Pablo Gomez scored his fifth goal of the year.

"I've never seen those guys play that hard," Phe said. "They were on a mission."

The Bulldogs scored three unanswered goals midway through the second half.

Estrada began Ceres High's goal flurry as he found the back of the net in the 58th and 60th minutes.

Gomez scored an unassisted goal a minute later to make it 5-1.

"We started to move the ball around," Estrada said. "They wore out and we took advantage."

The Bulldogs led 2-1 at the break as David collected goals in the third and 24th minutes. Luis and Fernando Garduno assisted.

Estrada, who was mobbed by teammates four times, had a career night.

"It feels awesome, especially to do it against a good program like Oakdale in an important game," he said. "I didn't expect it."