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CV frosh capitalize on Bulldog mistakes
Central Valley's and Ceres High's freshman football teams squared off at Bulldog Stadium last week.

The Hawks secured a second-place finish in the Western Athletic Conference standings with a 21-12 victory over Ceres High on a chilly Thursday night.

"We had a great week of practice," Central Valley running back/linebacker Anthony Harrison said. "Everyone did their job today. It was all about team work."

The Hawks posted a 4-4 overall record and finished 4-1 in the WAC. Ceres High was 3-5-1 and 2-2-1 (third).

"We had a great season," Bulldogs head coach Scott Smith said. "We proved we could win."

Said Hawks head coach Jesse Padilla: "We have a well-rounded team."

Central Valley scored 14 points off four Ceres High turnovers. The Hawks recovered three fumbles and intercepted one pass.

"It came down to whoever made the least amount of mistakes," Smith said. "We just didn't secure the ball. We dropped passes. It happens. It's part of the learning curve."

Central Valley's new-look offense committed just one turnover. The Hawks were missing three key players in Robert Vargas (knee injury), Michael Monds (unspecified) and Alex Centeno (unspecified).

"We're pretty stacked in a few positions," Padilla said.

Harrison, Pedro Arreola and Kenneth Campbell split time at running back.

Anthony scored twice on the ground.

Pedro had one rushing TD.

Danny Alvarado, Andres Romo, Ramon Coral, Gurvak Dhami, Gurpal Samra and Robert Gipson provided the blocking. "They did a great job," Harrison said. "They stepped up."

Central Valley's Favian Castellanos made all three of his point-after kicks.

The Hawks seized the momentum in the first half.

Central Valley's opening drive covered 77 yards. Harrison scored on a 6-yard run with 4:12 to play in the first period.

Josh Beleele helped set up the Hawks' second TD with a fumble recovery at the Ceres High 41. Harrison capped the drive with a 4-yard run with 9:55 remaining in the second period.

Arreola intercepted a pass and Harrison registered a sack in the final 1:24.

Ceres High outscored Central Valley 12-7 after intermission.

Bulldog tailback Danny Arias raced 80 yards for a score with 6:34 left in regulation.

Ceres High teammates Brad Bussard and Armon Economou combined for an 18-yard scoring play as time expired.

The Bulldogs battled back from a 21-0 deficit.

Arreola accounted for Central Valley's final touchdown, a 12-yard run at the 6:53 mark of the fourth quarter. The Hawks capitalized following Ceres High's fourth turnover.

"We fought hard as a team," Bussard said. "We have some things to improve. We need to get bigger, stronger and faster. I think we'll come out on top next year."

Added Smith: "We didn't quit until the clock hit zero."

Coach Padilla avoided being drenched with ice water in the waning seconds of the crosstown showdown. Hawk players failed to connect twice.

"We tried to make this year as fun as possible," Padilla said.

Central Valley lacked chemistry in the preseason. The Hawks became a close-knit group by the end of the season. Central Valley contended for the WAC title.

"We're a close family now," Harrison said.