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Yellowjackets rally for 21-20 victory over Dawgs
Ceres High's varsity football team experienced joy and disappointment during last week's non-conference game with small-school power Hilmar.

After throughly dominating the Yellowjackets for two-plus quarters, the host Bulldogs (1-1) suffered a stunning meltdown.

Hilmar (2-0) erased a three-touchdown deficit to shock Ceres High 21-20 Friday night.

The Bulldogs couldn't slow down the Yellowjackets' powerful rushing attack.

Ceres High also hurt itself by committing six penalties and two turnovers.

Zach Naylor had an 80-yard touchdown run that would have given the Bulldogs a 26-7 lead in the third quarter negated by a block-in-the-back penalty.

Hilmar sealed the victory after Ceres High jumped offsides on a 36-yard field goal attempt with less than two minutes to play. The penalty set up a fourth-and-one play. Yellowjacket quarterback Andrew Olson picked up the first down.

"We had an opportunity to do something special," Bulldog quarterback/linebacker George Borden said. "They got it done when it mattered. And we didn't. I'm in shock right now. It will hit me tomorrow when I wake up and read the paper."

Ceres High appeared to be headed to a comfortable win against Hilmar, which has won five Sac-Joaquin Section titles during its storied history.

The Bulldogs raced out to a 20-0 lead as Borden threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to Hadon Lopez, Dashawn Mena returned a fumble 22 yards for a score and Jr. Moniz ran back the opening kickoff of the second half 93 yards.

"Everything was clicking," George said. "I thought we had the game in the bag."

Hilmar seized the momentum by tallying touchdowns on three straight possessions.

Isaac Diaz scored on a 24-yard run, and Olson tossed an 11-yard TD pass to Trent Goiburn in the third quarter.

Diaz's 10-yard rushing touchdown and Kurtis Bettencourt's third PAT put the Yellowjackets ahead 21-20 with 5:42 left in the game.

"They made an adjustment and we couldn't stop them," Borden said. "They wore us down."

Ceres High ran just 15 total plays of offense in the second half.

The Bulldogs' final two possessions ended with turnovers.

George completed 5 of 9 passes for 44 yards with one touchdown and one pick.

Nick Welsh rushed for 62 yards on six carries before being slowed by leg cramps.

Naylor totaled 56 yards on seven carries. He also had six tackles and one sack.

Lopez registered 20 tackles, collected one sack and forced a fumble.

Matt Cardelli had an interception.

The Bulldogs will face Downey (1-1) this Friday in Modesto.

The Knights edged Ceres' second high school, Central Valley, 14-7 last week.

"We'll bounce back," Borden said.