LOS BANOS -- The first half was all about the passing game, but after the break it was all James Sams for Los Banos High in a 45-0 victory over Ceres on Friday night in Los Banos.
Sams, who had 44 yards at halftime, took advantage of a spread out Ceres defense in the second half to finish with 195 yards and three rushing touchdowns on 19 carries. Meanwhile, Tigers quarterback Chris Corpuz threw three touchdown passes of his own one to Sams and two to receiver Daeton West all in the first half. Corpuz was 7-of-10 passing for 154 yards.
Defensively, Los Banos notched its first shutout since a 43-0 win, also over Ceres, in October, 2010.
"We were really hyped about it. It's been two years since we had a shutout," said defensive end Nathan Vander Poel, who notched a pair of sacks. "It's a great feeling, and it's very good for the defense going into Patterson next week knowing we can close down the run and pass."
West finished with five catches for 114 yards and two scores, and added an interception on the other side of the ball with a 57-yard return that set up Sams' touchdown catch just before the half.
Ceres managed just 25 yards on the ground, and quarterbacks Blake Hurst and Devon Ruger combined for 97 yards.
"Yeah, it'd be nice to score, we only scored 7 last week against Central Catholic," Ceres coach Bret Durossette said. "Los Banos is a good football team. They have a lot of tradition going, great athletes, and they're well-coached with Caropreso and the guys helping him."
The Bulldogs came within 11 yards of breaking the shutout in the third quarter, but a Hurst touchdown pass to Caden Johnson was negated by an offensive pass interference call.
"I was telling Jon (defensive coordinator Jon Betschart) on the headset, 'Hey guys, that zero looks good on the scoreboard. Let's keep it there,' " Los Banos coach Dustin Caropreso said. "The great thing about it is it was our twos that were in there and got a chance to be part of something."