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Crosstown rival Hawks, Dawgs battle for pride
Eliminated from playoff contention early in the season, Central Valley's and Ceres High's varsity football teams failed to meet their expectations.

The Hawks and Bulldogs close out the 2010 campaign this Friday at CHS. The Fifth Annual Ceres Classic will get underway at 7:30 p.m.

Central Valley and Ceres High enter the Western Athletic Conference finale with identical records (1-8, 0-4).

"We've been waiting all season for this game," said Central Valley senior Tyree Jones, who's totaled 1,267 yards and 11 touchdowns on 130 carries in nine games. "The emotions are going to be higher. We feel very confident."

"It would be nice to get a win," Ceres High senior guard/linebacker George Borden said. "They've got the feeling of having to hold the trophy. We haven't had it in three years. This game is about pride. We want to keep the fans interested. We haven't done that the last four weeks. The injuries have affected us."

Bulldog star linebacker Hadon Lopez could return to the lineup this week. He missed Ceres High's first four league games with a foot injury.

Running back/linebacker Zach Naylor's playing status is doubtful. He hasn't played in three weeks because of an oblique injury.

"You can't worry about who you don't have," Bulldogs head coach Brett Johnson said. "You have to plan for the future."

Central Valley owns a 3-1 head-to-head record against Ceres High.

The Hawks have won the last three meetings.

The Bulldogs kept last year's game close despite competing without standout quarterback Josh Edwards, who was sidelined with a knee injury.

Central Valley made a goal-line stop late in the fourth quarter and escaped with a 28-26 victory.

"You can never underestimate a team," Jones said. "I'm pretty sure they're going to bring it. We will too."

Tyree played a major role while leading the Hawks past the Bulldogs as a junior. He rushed for 164 yards and two touchdowns. His 64-yard TD run gave Central Valley a 28-20 lead with less than three minutes to play.

"When you're warming up, the music is playing," Jones said while talking about crosstown-showdown experience. "You see over 2,000 people watching you. It's an incredible feeling. You have to go hard every single play."

Jones and the Hawks want to continue their dominance against Ceres High.

Borden and the Bulldogs want to end three-plus years of frustration.

"It would be a great way to end the season," Johnson said.

"I don't like to make predictions," George said. "Come out to the game and you'll see who wins. It will definitely be a battle."

"I won't care what my stats are as long as we win the game," Tyree said. "I'll be very happy."