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Yellowjackets top Dawgs in playoffs
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Derrick Goblirsch took his frustration out on a garbage can on the sideline after getting sacked. At the end of the game, he buried his face in his hands and cried.

The senior quarterback completed 22 of 35 passes for 255 yards and a score but it wasn't enough. The Bulldogs, the Modesto Metro Conference's No. 1 seed, fell 24-16 to Franklin, the San-Joaquin Athletic Association's No. 3 seed, in the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I playoffs Friday night in Ceres.

"It's a tough ending to a great season," Goblirsch said.

Ceres, which was dealt its first loss of the season at home, finished the year with a 6-5 record. The Bulldogs won a share of the MMC championship during the regular season.

"I'm going to remember this year for the rest of my life," said Ceres coach Bret Durossette.

All-purpose specialist Kevin Brown returned a kickoff 87 yards for a score and caught four passes for 69 yards, including an 8-yard touchdown, and Traye'von Harrell rushed for 172 yards on 35 carries and scored once for the Yellowjackets (8-3), who extended their winning streak to eight games and earned the right to play Lincoln, the SJAA's No. 2 seed, in the second round of the playoffs.

Franklin led from start to finish.

"Nobody likes to lose but we never quit," Durossette said.

"I think if we would have played another quarter, we would have beat them."

Said Franklin coach Tom Verner: "Their coach is phenomenal. He did a fantastic job."

The Yellowjackets outscored the Bulldogs 12-3 in the opening half.

Brown silenced the home crowd when he broke several tackles and returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown.

Down 6-0, Ceres responded with a 79-yard drive, capped by Brandon Gresham's 25-yard field goal.

The Yellowjackets marched 73 yards in 11 plays on its second possession. But failed to score.

Ceres cornerback Ryan Leazer broke up a pass, which was intended for Brown, in the end zone on fourth down.

Ceres marched 72 yards in nine plays on its second possession. The Bulldogs stalled at the Franklin 17 when Goblirsch and Robles collided on a snap exchange on fourth-and-1.

"We couldn't punch it in when we were in the red zone," Goblirsch said.

The Yellowjackets took a 12-3 lead on Caleb Midura's touch-down pass to a wide-open Brown with 51 seconds remaining in the second quarter. Franklin receiver Edwin Henry picked off Leazer, Brown's defender. The 14-play, 83-yard drive lasted 6 minutes, 50 seconds.

In the second half, Ceres failed to capitalize on great field position, which was provided by a stellar defensive effort.

The Bulldogs turned the ball over on their first possession.

Brian Borges fumbled at the Franklin 8.

Ceres lost yards on its second, third and fourth possessions, and were forced to punt.

"We had a lot of opportunities and just didn't take advantage of them," Durossette said.

"When they had to make a big play, they made it."

Julio Aguayo intercepted Goblirsch's pass at the Ceres 25 with 7:34 remaining in the fourth quarter. Four plays later, Midura scored from 1-yard out on a quarterback keeper to give the Yellowjackets an 18-3 lead.

Twenty-seconds later, Charlie Cunha ran back the ensuing kickoff 91 yards to cut Franklin's lead to 18-9.

Franklin recovered the onside kick, and Harrell carried the ball six straight times. He picked up two first downs. His 1-yard TD run capped a 40-play drive and extended the Yellowjackets' lead to 15, 24-9, with 2:45 remaining.

Ceres got within eight points on Goblirsch's 33-yard TD strike to Leazer with 55 seconds remaining. Goblirsch rolled to his left and heaved a hail-marry pass into the end zone.

Franklin recovered the subsequent onside kick and ran out the clock.

"They have a history of playing the second half tough," said Verner, referring to Ceres' come-from-behind victories against Modesto High and Downey in league play.

Added Brown: "They played hard until the end." - By DALE BUTLER / Staff Reporter of The Ceres (Calif.) Courier