Tigers ready for Ceres after Central Catholic loss and bye week

By David Witte / sports@losbanosenterprise.comOctober 5, 2012 

After taking two weeks to stew over a league-opening loss to Central Catholic, the Los Banos football team will have a chance to take out its frustrations on a reeling Ceres team tonight.

"It's been two weeks since we played our last game, but we've had some good practices," Los Banos coach Dustin Caropreso said. "I think the kids are itching to get back out there."

The Bulldogs are coming off a loss of their own to Central Catholic -- 69-7 last week. Ceres played without its quarterback Blake Hurst, who injured his shoulder the week before in a loss to Pacheco.

The loss to CC may have taken LB out of the running for the Western Athletic Conference title -- the Tigers have to hope the other Tigers, from Patterson, find a way to upset the Raiders in the last game of the regular season, but Patterson has a quarterback with a shoulder injury of his own.

Still, LB has plenty to look forward to in the second half of the season: running back James Sams has 1,002 yards through five games, and quarterback Chris Corpuz didn't throw an interception until the Central Catholic game. Corpuz currently has 12 touchdowns (plus one rushing touchdown) and 910 passing yards.

Los Banos is 2-0 against Ceres since joining in WAC in 2010, with a 45-10 win last year and a 43-0 win the year before.

"They're not going to come down here and lay down for us," Caropreso said. "We need to execute."

Broncos still winless

With Friday's 28-21 loss to Kerman, the Dos Palos football team ended the first half of the season winless.

Tonight, the Broncos open West Sierra League play by hosting defending league champion Mendota, which is also the defending Central Section Division VI champion after a 12-0 season a year ago.

The Aztecs are undefeated this year as well at 5-0, the most recent win a 28-7 rout of Sierra-Tollhouse.

A year ago, Mendota opened league play with a 61-25 win over Dos Palos -- the Broncos' only league loss in a 5-6 season. But Mendota is strong every year -- the difference in the WSL this year is the bottom of the league, which has gotten much stronger.

Avenal, 1-9 last year, is riding a five-game win streak into league play. In addition, Coalinga has been added to the league, and is 3-2 this season.

Against Kerman, Dos Palos had trouble stopping 5-foot-10, 210-pound running back Antonio Castillo, who ran for 209 yards and all four of Kerman's touchdowns on 15 carries.

"Nothing special, we just need to put our heads and wrap," Dos Palos running back/linebacker Izzac Suarez said.

Despite dropping to 0-5, Suarez said it was a better game than other recent losses.

"Defense wise, we set up with a different defense, we set up with a 6-2 instead of a 40 package," Suarez said. "On offense, we just stuck with the same offense and busted, pound the rock."

Suarez led Dos Palos with 76 yards on 12 carries, and Andrew Hall added 19 carries for 67 yards. Dos Palos tied the game 21-21 with 5:04 remaining on a short pass from Adam Coronado to homecoming king Jesus Cardoza, but Kerman drove 50 yards on 10 plays, punching the ball in from 2 yards out to take a 28-21 lead with 28 seconds left.

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