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Wolves pull away from Bulldogs in VOL showdown
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The Ceres High varsity football team took its first lead of the season early in the second quarter against Sierra Friday night at Daniel Teicheira Memorial Stadium.

It didn't take the host Timberwolves long to turn the Valley Oak League contest into a rout.

Down 7-6, Sierra reeled off 21 straight points following Devin Eudy's 8-yard rushing TD and Matt Smith's extra point en route to rolling to a 51-20 victory over the junior-laden Bulldogs.

"The hardest thing to find with a young team is chemistry," Ceres coach Brett Johnson said. "The kids played with a lot of heart. We're going to keep improving each week."

Nigel Malone caught a 67-yard TD pass from Mike Garcia, Caeser Montoya scored on a 17-yard run and Dirinna Uwakwe returned a fumble 22 yards for a score in the second quarter for Sierra (3-1).

Ceres High junior tailback Marcus Hilgen scored from 7 yards out to bring the Bulldogs (0-4) within 27-14 heading into halftime.

Sierra built an insurmountable lead by tallying three straight touchdowns for the second time in the game.

Garcia tossed an 18-yard TD pass to Malone, Uwakwe scored on a 5-yard run and Malone added a 35-yard interception return for a 48-14 lead in the third.

Bulldogs quarterback Zack Atchison and tight end Michael Staggs hooked up on a 69-yard scoring play before the end of the quarter.

"We were competing and having fun," Johnson said. "The second half, we just made too many mistakes and allowed them to pull away. We don't have that big-play capability. We're a ground-and-pound team."

Montoya booted a 23-yard field goal in the fourth quarter.

Avery White hauled in a 26-yard TD pass from Garcia in the opening quarter.

Ceres tallied seven first downs and 241 yards on offense.

Atchison completed 7 of 14 passes for 135 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions off the bench. Zack stayed in the game after Johnny Clark's chin strap broke in the first quarter.

"He was very efficient," Johnson said.

Junior Martino Bertolotti had two catches for 42 yards.

The Bulldogs gained 103 rushing yards.

Senior Matt Smith led the way with 83 yards on 16 carries.

Hilgen added 24 yards on six attempts.

Sierra amassed 17 first downs and 424 yards of offense.

Mike Garcia completed 14 of 20 passes for 239 yards with three touchdowns and one interception.

Malone caught seven passes for 160 yards and two scores.

"Their quarterback was on fire," Johnson said.

Uwakwe led the Timberwolves' rushing attack. He gained 111 yards on 20 carries.

Marcus Hilgen, Devin Eudy, Matt Smith and Rajdeep Singh had standout games on defense for the Bulldogs.

Hilgen made a team-high 12 tackles.

Eudy registered seven tackles.

Smith had four tackles and a fumble recovery.

Singh added three tackles and a pick.

Ceres will play at Sonora this Friday. The VOL contest will begin at 7 p.m.

"We enjoyed our first lead of the season (against Sierra)," Johnson said. "We're hoping to build on that."