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CV, Ceres High battle for city supremacy
Central Valley will try to improve its all-time record against Ceres High in varsity football to 3-1.

The Bulldogs are facing the possibility of their second winless season in three years.

Ceres Unified's two public high schools will battle for backyard bragging rights in the fourth installment of the Ceres Classic on Friday at Bulldog Stadium.

"Everybody has been looking forward to this game," Hawks senior linebacker/tight end Alex Casas said. "We want to win more than anything else. I'd love a blowout, but a win is a win."

The perpetual trophy has been in Central Valley's possession since 2007.

The Hawks have won the last two meetings, including the 2008 showdown by a 40-7 thrashing.

Hadon Lopez and his Bulldog teammates aim to turn the rivalry in new direction.

The junior linebacker was on the losing side at the varsity level as a sophomore and freshman.

"We want to beat them bad because of what happened last year," Lopez said. "The game should be competitive."

Casas will try to help Central Valley extend its winning streak against Ceres High (0-9, 0-6).

The Hawks (3-6, 1-5) have two of the best all-round players in the Valley Oak League in Vince Lopez (running back/defensive back) and Greg Mathews (receiver/safety).

Lopez (103 carries, 861 yards, eight touchdowns) and Mathews (49 receptions, 849 yards, 10 TDs) have combined to score 22 times.

Vince has found the end zone in a variety of ways-eight runs, a pass, a kickoff return and an interception return.

Vince and Greg have accumulated eight and six picks, respectively, on defense.

Mathews also ran back an interception for a score.

"As long as we do what the coaches tell us, we should get a W," Casas said.

The 2008 meeting was supposed to be decided in the fourth quarter.

Central Valley and Ceres High entered the VOL finale tied for fifth place with identical 2-4 records.

The Hawks and Bulldogs both suffered narrow losses to second-place Sierra (31-28, 21-14). Third-place Sonora won by the slimmest possible margin at Ceres High (35-34) and pulled away late for a victory against visiting Central Valley (35-24).

The Hawks scored 40 straight points before the Bulldogs tallied a meaningless touchdown in the final period.

Vince finished with 211 yards of total offense, grabbed a 45-yard touchdown pass and tallied an interception as Central Valley embarrassed Ceres High.

Bulldog receiver Justin Canatsy could factor heavily into the game plan this year. He's had a productive senior season, grabbing 44 passes for 551 yards and seven touchdowns.

"It would mean a lot if we beat them," Canatsy said. "We have to stop Vince Lopez and our offense has to execute."

If Ceres High exacts revenge, the Bulldogs will finish in a tie for last place with the Hawks in the VOL standings at 1-6. Central Valley will try to prevent that from happening.

"We've already gone through an 0-pher season," CHS head coach Brett Johnson said. "We don't want to experience that again."