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Varsity Bulldogs get first victory
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Members of the Ceres High varsity football team lifted their arms over their heads, jumped up and down and hugged each other in celebration under the lights at Falcon Stadium Friday night.

The Bulldogs finally won a game, beating Atwater 14-13 in non-league action. Eric Wunder's 39-yard game-winning field goal attempt fell well short as time expired.

”I don't know what I would have done (if he made it),“ said Ceres High tailback Dingko Luangchai. ”I would have probably collapsed on the field.“

Added Ceres head coach Bret Durossette: ”The kids have practiced hard all year long. They deserved to win.“

The victory helped Ceres end a four-game losing streak and improve to 1-4 overall. The Bulldogs will play against the Modesto High Panthers on Friday at Downey High School. Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m.

”It gives us huge momentum going into league,“ Luangchai said.

”This is the first game of the year we played hard for all four quarters. We executed. The defense stepped up in the second half, in the fourth quarter, on the last series.“

Ceres had 220 yards of offense.

Luangchai gained 137 yards on 26 carries.

Junior quarterback Ross Tate completed 6 of 9 passes for 40 yards with one touchdown. He also rushed for a score.

”We actually had an offense,“ Durossette said.

Added Luangchai: ”I ran hard and my teammates had my back.“

Atwater's final drive looked promising. The Falcons marched 58 yards in 10 plays to the Ceres 10-yard line. Back-to-back penalties moved the ball back to the Bulldogs' 25. Wunder was forced to attempt a long-range field goal after Tate defended a third-down pass at the Ceres 15.

Ceres took its first-and-only lead of the game with 5:33 left in regulation. Tate's 12-yard run capped a 10-play, 80-yard drive. He rolled to the left, raced down the visitor's sideline and into the end zone. Luangchai, Clark and Loveland also contributed. Luangchai had 52 yards rushing on five carries. Clark had eight yards rushing on three carries. Loveland hauled in an 8-yard pass.

Atwater broke a 7-all tie when Dirk Nelson scored on a 16-yard sweep with 10:14 remaining. The Falcons missed the extra-point kick as the ball deflected off the right post. The 13-play, 78-yard drive lasted 7 minutes, 32 seconds.

Both teams scored once in the opening half.

Atwater scored on its first possession. The Falcons marched 69 yards in four plays. Sam Hyer's 1-yard plunge capped the drive at the 10:24 mark. They also converted the point-after kick.

In the second quarter, Ceres defensive back Daniel Munoz forced and recovered a fumble at the Bulldogs' 49-yard line. Led by Tate, Luangchai, Clark and Loveland, Ceres proceeded to drive 51 yards in 11 plays. Luangchai rumbled for 38 yards on seven carries. Byron Clark gained 3 yards on two carries. Jake Loveland caught two passes, including a 7-yard TD strike from Tate. His one-handed catch and Munoz's extra-point evened the score at 7-all with 6:46 remaining.

Atwater had an opportunity to head into halftime with a slim lead. But the Falcons' 30-yard field goal attempt sailed wide left with one second left on the clock. - By DALE BUTLER / Staff reporter of the Ceres (Calif.) Courier