By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Hawks dominate Jags
Central Valley High School fielded its first-ever varsity football team in 2006.

The Hawks didn't roll out the welcome mat for newcomer Gregori this past week.

Central Valley avoided a major letdown by opening the 2011 season with a 37-6 victory over the Jaguars Friday night at Bulldog Stadium.

"We did what we were supposed to do," Hawks junior quarterback Abraham Navarro said. "No disrespect to Gregori, but it would have been an embarrassment if we lost to a team that's never played varsity. We didn't underestimate them. I believe they'll be a good team in a couple of years."

Navarro, a third-year starter, accounted for three of Central Valley's five touchdowns.

He completed 8 of 17 passes for 119 yards with two touchdowns.

Abraham scored once on the ground as well.

Sophomore tailback Ja'Quan Gardner rushed for 156 yards and one touchdown while making his debut at the varsity level. He also caught two passes for 54 yards.

"I'm not surprised at all," Navarro said while talking about Gardner's standout performance. "He's a natural athlete. He makes it look easy."

"I was pretty anxious before the game," Ja'Quan said. "My nerves were gone after I got that first touch. I had a lot of fun tonight."

Central Valley executed its game plan to perfection en route to building a three-touchdown lead in the opening 13 minutes.

The Hawks' first possession covered 65 yards in six plays.

Gardner carried the ball five times.

Navarro capped the drive with a 10-yard run.

Safety Kenny Lopez helped set up Central Valley's second touchdown with an interception deep in Gregori territory. Gardner bolted his way into the end zone from the 6-yard line.

Hawk receiver Greg Tripp turned a short catch into a 21-yard touchdown early in the second quarter. Tripp raced down the home sideline before diving across the goal line just inside the pylon.

Gregori tallied its first-ever touchdown late in the second quarter. Quarterback Juan Tovar scored a 1-yard run on fourth down.

Central Valley scored all three of its second-half touchdowns off Gregori turnovers.

Santos caught a 6-yard TD pass.

Daniel Ochoa booted a 24-yard field goal.

Juan Plasencia added a 3-yard rushing score.

"You can't grade yourself on a game like this," Navarro said. "They were pretty competitive for being a first-year team. They weren't soft."

Central Valley will play at Downey this Friday. The non-conference affair will begin at 7 p.m.

JV crushes Gregori

The members of Central Valley High School's junior-varsity football team performed the Haka war dance following Friday's 48-0 victory over visiting Gregori.

Cousins Milton Uti and Benjamin Anitelea came up with the idea.

"The whole week we practiced and tried to perfect it," Hawks all-purpose freshman Angelo Bermudez said. "We did it because we respect their culture"

Bermudez had a memorable debut with Central Valley. The former Ceres Cowboys varsity youth football star scored three touchdowns against Gregori.

Anitelea had rushing and receiving scores.

Uti threw two TD passes, including one to Benjamin and Marcus Clark.

Raul Godinez added a rushing touchdown.

"We put out a good performance," Bermudez said. "We don't want to be too big-headed because on any given day anybody can be beat."

"It's all about teamwork for us," said Anitelea, who missed his freshman season with a broken left arm. "We just have to keep working hard."

Bermudez spun out of the grasp of a tackler and returned the opening kickoff 70 yards for a touchdown.

"I just feel blessed as a freshman to get bumped up to JV," he said.

Godinez's first carry resulted in a 60-yard TD. Raul starred on the Ceres High JV team last year.

Anitelea rumbled 35 yards for a score with 1:32 to play in the first quarter.

Bermudez cut to his right, reversed direction and raced 20 yards for a touchdown early in the second quarter.

Clark outjumped a defender en route to hauling in a 39-yard TD pass from Uti as time expired in the first half.

Uti and Anitelea combined for a 50-yard touchdown, and Bermudez raced 40 yards for a score after intermission.

Angelo had two touchdowns negated by penalties during the one-sided game, including a 65-yard punt return and 32-yard run.

"That was a night to remember boys," head coach Chris Lawrence stated. "Next week, it's going to get tougher."

Said Bermudez: "Everybody stepped up."

Added Anitelea: "We won as a team."

Central Valley will play at Downey this Friday. The non-league contest will get underway at 5 p.m.