CERES — Malik Vega-Tatum sparked Weston Ranch’s second-half surge by returning the opening kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown, and he struck again with a 95-yard pick-six as the Cougars rallied past Ceres 40-13 Friday night.
“High school football games are won and loss on momentum, and the pick-six was what really changed the game,” Weston Ranch coach Seth Davis said. “We were able to put it away after that.”
Vega-Tatum gave them just the boost they needed after a lackluster first half. The tone was set on Weston Ranch’s opening drive that ended with a lost fumble. The Cougars also turned the ball over on their own 1, and Ceres capitalized to take a 7-6 halftime lead.
Bryant Bowen racked up 180 yards and a touchdown on just 12 carries. Cori Floyd added a pair of touchdowns to go with 90 yards on six carries. Gabriel Ramos added a touchdown run, and Elijah Harper paced Cougars receivers with five catches for 150 yards. Harper had two touchdown receptions called back to penalties.
Defensive end Andrew Farley finished with 12 tackles and two sacks.
“We had a sloppy first half of football, but we had a lot less preparation,” Davis said. “This is the first time we’ve had a week zero game. It’s tough on the players because everything was kind of a rush, but at the same time we were able to get the kinks out. We’ll savor this one and get ready for our home opener (against Edison).