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Hawks caged in OT
The Central Valley High School varsity football team's sideline erupted in massive celebration when all-purpose standout Gerald Garcia returned a Weston Ranch fumble 27 yards for a touchdown late in the fourth quarter of Friday night's Valley Oak League contest.

The euphoria turned to disappointment as the Cougars rallied for the game-tying score in the final 1:27 to force overtime and held on for a 40-39 victory at Ceres High.

"Someone had to lose and it happened to be us," Central Valley senior lineman Sean McLeod said. "Everyone was down because we knew we should have won."

With the win, Weston Ranch improved to 2-3 in the VOL and kept its postseason hopes alive.

The loss eliminated the 1-4 Hawks from the playoff picture.

"Our record doesn't show how good we've been," McLeod said. "We've had some closes games. That's one of the best games we've played this year."

The two teams combined for 825 yards of offense.

Central Valley junior quarterback Trevor Mew completed 12 of 19 passes for 159 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. He had one rushing TD.

Garcia caught eight passes for 102 yards and two scores.

Rick Rogers had three receptions for 42 yards.

Joaquin Casas led the Hawks' ground attack, which piled up 209 yards on 40 carries. He ran for 105 yards and a TD on 14 carries. Sophomore Vince Lopez added 79 yards on 20 attempts.

Weston Ranch tallied 457 yards of offense.

Senior quarterback Josh Bowen completed 16 of 24 passes for 300 yards with three touchdowns and an interception after sitting out the first quarter for missing practice. He also scored once on the ground.

Bryan Morris hauled in five passes for 166 yards and two TDs. Bryan Thompson added five catches for 107 yards and a score.

The Cougars had 127 rushing yards on 44 carries. Mike Kohler gained 91 yards and scored once on 17 carries.

Central Valley held a 14-11 lead at intermission.

Casas scored on a 59-yard run on the Hawks' first possession.

Weston Ranch's opening possession resulted in a 28-yard field goal by Chris Fleckenstein.

In the second quarter, Lopez intercepted Bowen's first pass attempt and zig-zagged his way 47 yards for a TD. Mew completed the 2-point conversion pass to Rogers for a 14-3 lead.

The Cougars turned the ball over on their next two possessions. Hawk linebacker Andrew Segmiller jarred the ball loose from Kohler with a crushing hit at Central Valley's 4-yard line. Defensive back Victor Tubera recovered the fumble. Segmiller also recovered a fumble as Bowen failed to get a grasp on a low snap at the Hawks' 47.

Bowen silenced Central Valley's crowd with a 54-yard strike to Morris with 2.7 seconds remaining in the first half. The pass was thrown behind Bryan, who tipped the ball with his right hand, gained possession and sped into the end zone. Emmanuel Elendu added the 2-point conversion run.

It didn't take long for the Hawks' offense to get going in the second half. Mew hooked up with Garcia for a 13-yard score on Central Valley's opening possession.

Bowen' 64-yard TD pass to Thompson and Fleckenstein's PAT brought the Cougars within two points, 20-18.

Weston Ranch took its first lead of the game at the 3:15 mark of the third quarter. Bowen teamed up with Morris on a 51-yard scoring play and the duo combined for the 2-point conversion to make it 26-20.

Central Valley tallied 13 straight points in the span of two minutes in the fourth quarter to take a 33-26 lead. Mew scored on a 1-yard keeper and Garcia returned a fumbled kickoff.

Ernesto Plancarte made one of his two extra points.

Bowen and the Cougars got the ball back with 1:27 to play. Bowen's sixth pass attempt was picked off by Segmiller. The interception was negated due to a Hawks' holding penalty on the opposite side of the field.

Three plays later, the Cougars tied the game at 33-all on Bowen's 1-yard run.

"I thought it was over," McLeod said. "It was a shocker."

Kohler accounted for the go-ahead touchdown in overtime for the Cougars. He scored on a 2-yard run and Fleckenstein made the PAT.

Central Valley responded with a score of its own when Garcia caught an 8-yard TD pass from Mew. Mew's potential, game-winning 2-point conversion pass fell incomplete in the left corner of the end zone, just out of the reach of Rogers.

"It was the right choice to go for two," McLeod said.

Central Valley will play on the road against second-place Manteca (4-1) on Friday. The VOL contest will get underway a 7 p.m.

JV football

The Central Valley junior-varsity football team never recovered after Weston Ranch took a 19-6 lead with its third touchdown in the opening half of their Valley Oak League contest on Friday at Ceres High School.

The score came after the Hawks' defense forced an incomplete pass deep in their own territory on fourth-and-4. An inadvertant whistle prompted a redo, which resulted in a 10-yard TD pass with 14.4 seconds remaining.

"The referee apologized," Central Valley coach Pat Leach said.

The third-place Hawks dropped to 1-4 in the Valley Oak League standings following their 26-6 loss to the Cougars.

Second-place Weston Ranch improved to 3-2 in the conference play.

The Cougars limited Central Valley to 181 yards of offense.

Tyree Jones ran for 118 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries.

Alex Casas gained 28 yards on 12 carries.

Dayjohn Sallie added 26 yards on seven carries.

Quarterback Jesse Hatfield completed 2 of 11 passes for 11 yards.

Weston Ranch amassed 272 yards of offense, including 221 rushing on 28 carries. The Cougars had 60 passing yards.

Sallie intercepted a pass for the Hawks in the third quarter. Nick Mead recovered a fumble in the first quarter.

Central Valley tallied a touchdown on its first possession. Jones took a handoff from Hatfield on second down and rumbled 74 yards for a score one minute into the contest.

The Cougars responded with 26 unanswered points in the final 39 minutes.

Central Valley had two drives end in Weston Ranch territory, including one in the second quarter (33) and another in the fourth (47). The Hawks punted three times and committed one turnover.

Central Valley will play at Manteca (3-2) this Friday with kickoff slated for 6 p.m.

Freshmen suffer

The Central Valley High School freshman football team exhibited a never-say-die attitude through its first six games of the season.

The Hawks turned in a lackadaisical performance in their 16-14 loss to Weston Ranch on Thursday in Stockton.

"We had a bad week of practice and it carried over into the game," Central Valley coach Randy Flanagan said.

Terrence Sadler led the Hawks' ground attack with 185 yards and one touchdown on just nine carries. The fleet-footed tailback has rushed for 654 yards and six scores in his last three games.

"He ran his heart out with no blocking this week," Flanagan said.

Fullback Chris Moscozo added a 1-yard rushing TD.

Defensive back Anthony Muniz picked off a pass.

"It should have never come to that point," Flanagan said. "We should have blew those guys off the field. But we played down to their level. Nobody wanted to step up."

Trailing 16-8 at halftime, Mocozo plowed his way into the end for an apparent 1-yard touchdown in the third quarter. Officials ruled that Chris fumbled while stretching for the goal line.

"That was the game right there," Flanagan said. "It was a terrible call. I watched the film. He had already crossed the plane when he was stripped of the ball."

Moscozo scored on a 1-yard plunge in the fourth quarter to cut the deficit to two. The Cougars survived thanks to Central Valley's failed two-point conversion.

"The second half we held them," Flanagan said. "They didn't do nothing."

The Hawks trailed 16-8 at intermission.

Sadler's 55-yard TD run and Damarea Reese's two-point conversion pass to Dave Dart evened the score in the first quarter.

Third-place Weston Ranch (2-3) tallied its second touchdown in the second quarter.

"They wanted to win more than we did," Flanagan said. "They were fired up."

Fourth-place Central Valley (1-4) will play against first-place Manteca (5-0) on Thursday at Ceres High School. Kickoff scheduled for 6 p.m.