The Ceres Cowboys varsity youth football team showed drastic improvement during its 26-12 loss to the Modesto-Empire Vikings on Saturday at Johansen High School.
Ceres lost 14-0 to the Manteca Chargers the previous week. "We had a great week of practice," Cowboys head coach John Thompson said. "We're starting to gel."
Ceres dropped to 1-3 overall and 1-1 in the DYFL South Division.
Modesto-Empire improved to 2-2 and 2-1.
"It was a vast improvement from the effort they put out the previous week," Thompson said. "Their morale was high going into the game."
The Cowboys and Vikings battled to a 12-12 tie in the opening half.
Josh Gonzales tossed a 67-yard TD pass to Orlando Alvarez. Xavier Vera scored on a 6-yard run.
Modesto-Empire outscored Ceres 14-0 the rest of the way.
"We could have protected the ball better and made two or three more plays," Thompson said. "No one gave up. The team actually worked hard as one."