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The Ceres Classic perpetual trophy, awarded to the winner of the Central Valley-Ceres High varsity football game, was on display near the entrance of Bulldog Stadium last Friday.

The coveted piece of hardware will remain with the Hawks for yet another year.

For the sixth consecutive season, Central Valley bested crosstown-rival Ceres High.

The Hawks overwhelmed the Bulldogs 40-13 in front of a packed, enthusiastic crowd.

"It never gets old," Central Valley star junior tailback Ja'Quan Gardner said while talking about the one-sided rivalry. "I've been a part of it for two years in a row. Hopefully, we can continue it year after year."

The Hawks finished the 2012 season with a 5-5 overall record and 2-4 mark in the Western Athletic Conference.

The Bulldogs went 2-8 overall and 0-6 in the WAC standings.

Central Valley fell one win shy of securing its first-ever playoff berth.

"We can only go up from here," Gardner said.

Added Hawks head coach Jason McCloskey: "The program's headed in the right direction."

Central Valley rolled up a season-high 489 yards of total offense, including 425 rushing on 41 attempts.

Ja'Quan gained 215 yards and scored three touchdowns on 13 carries.

Gardner, the 2011 WAC Offensive Most Valuable Player, also hauled in a 38-yard TD pass from Abraham Navarro.

Sophomore Angelo Bermudez carried the ball seven times for 101 yards.

Kendel Johnson, Juan Plasencia and Ben Anitelea ran for 53, 30 and 22 yards, respectively.

Ben scored once on the ground.

Anitela, who also doubled as Central Valley's middle linebacker, made six tackles, registered one sack and intercepted one pass. Ben exited the game in the first half after sustaining a concussion.

Kenny Lopez blocked a punt that was recovered in the end zone for a touchdown by Navarro in the final period.

Lopez made five tackles.

Navarro tallied one sack and two tackles.

Jose Medina had five tackles and one sack.

Nick Van Tuinen had four tackles and one sack.

Jesus Medina had three tackles and one sack.

Backup linebacker Rafael Rivas picked off a pass.

Alvaro Rodriguez made all five of his point-after kicks.

"We knew Ja'Quan was going to have a good day," McCloskey said. "He's so fast. We also tried to get other guys involved."

Central Valley's defense racked up five sacks, forced seven punts and allowed just 160 yards.

Ceres High was limited to 27 rushing yards on 16 carries.

Jorge Arroyo had 22 yards and one TD on five carries. Arroyo returned a kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown early in the fourth quarter.

Caden Johnson, the Stanislaus District's best receiver, re-aggravated a right shoulder injury in the first half and didn't return to the game. Johnson caught one pass for 11 yards.

Blake Hurst completed 8 of 18 passes for 71 yards.

Devon Ruger finished 4-for-7 passing for 62 yards and one interception.

Ruger rushed for 28 yards on five carries.

Tight end/defensive lineman Damien Underwood had his appendix removed earlier in the week and did not play.

Gardner scored three times and Anitelea found the end zone once as the Hawks built a commanding 28-7 lead in the opening half.

Ja'Quan had a pair of rushing TDs (72 and 2 yards) in the first quarter.

Arroyo's 1-yard touchdown run and Ruger's point-after kick cut the deficit to 21-7.

Gardner caught a swing pass and raced 38 yards for a score as time expired in the second quarter.

Central Valley outscored 12-6 in the second half.

Gardner broke free for a 70-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.

"We didn't take them lightly," McCloskey said. "We prepared for them. There were a lot of concerns because we haven't been playing well on offense."

Said Ceres High head coach Bret Durossette: "Our kids didn't quit."

As the final seconds ticked off the clock, McCloskey found himself the target of an ice-water bath.

It's a postgame scene Central Valley has become all-too familiar with whenever the two teams meet.

"They have a lot of talent over there," Durossette said.

JV Hawks earn rivalry victory

Central Valley's Moses Ghiorso made big plays on both sides of the ball against crosstown-rival Ceres High.

The freshman all-purpose standout scored a rushing touchdown and intercepted a pass in the fourth quarter as the Hawks closed out the 2012 Western Athletic Conference season with a 15-7 win over the Bulldogs in junior-varsity football on Friday.

"This is the biggest game of the year," Ghiorso said. "We practiced so hard this week. It feels great to win. It gives us momentum going into next year."

Central Valley compiled a 3-6-1 overall record and finished one game behind Ceres High (4-6, 2-4) in the WAC standings this year.

The Hawks limited the Bulldogs to five first downs and 185 yards of offense.

Ceres High passer Brad Bussard completed 5 of 15 passes for 107 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

Twin brother Brent Bussard rushed for 32 yards on 10 carries. He caught two passes for 76 yards and one TD. He also racked up a team-high 15 tackles on defense.

Caleb McDade made 11 tackles.

Derek Avila and Ramon Coral both collected seven tackles.

"They played good defense against us," Brad Bussard said.

Central Valley outscored Ceres High 8-7 in the opening half.

Brad's long TD pass to Brent, and Caleb's point-after kick gave the Bulldogs a 7-0 lead with 2:21 remaining in the first quarter.

Ghiorso scored on a 2-yard run, and Alex Centeno and Manuel Garcia accounted for the go-ahead two-point conversion with less than three minutes to play in the second quarter.

McDade missed a 25-yard field goal and receiver Tristen Dray had a potential 34-yard TD pass glance off his hands during the final quarter. Moses intercepted Brad's subsequent pass on fourth-and-5 at the Central Valley 25. Five plays later, Ghiorso raced 33 yards for a touchdown. Daniel Alvarado booted the point-after kick.

Ceres High turned the ball over on downs at its 32-yard line with 6 seconds to play. Brad completed a 4-yard pass to Avila.

"Our game plan was perfect," Brad said. "We battled hard. We just got tired. Our own mistakes killed us."