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Hawks edge Bulldogs in Valley Oak League finale
Tyree Jones smiled wide as he clutched the Ceres Classic perpetual trophy against his chest.

The junior running back gained 164 yards and scored two touchdowns as the Central Valley High School varsity football team beat Ceres High for the third straight time, 28-26 in front of a standing-room-only crowd Friday night at Bulldog Stadium.

"We knew it was going to be a close game," Jones said. "I'm just glad I could help the seniors get a W."

The Hawks finished 4-6 on the year and 2-5 in the VOL (tie for third with East Union and Weston Ranch).

Decimated by injuries, the Bulldogs failed to win a game (0-10, 0-7).

Central Valley piled up 335 rushing yards against Ceres High.

Senior Vince Lopez ran for 108 yards on 15 carries.

Freshman quarterback Abraham Navarro had 29 yards and two scores on the ground.

Junior Terrence Sadler added 33 yards on six attempts.

The Bulldogs tallied 292 yards of total offense, including 159 on the ground.

Sophomore quarterback Nick Welsh completed 4 of 8 passes for 45 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

All-purpose player Justin Canatsy had two receptions for 23 yards and a score, and completed an 88-yard pass to tight end Jeremy Cagle.

Fullback Jesse Gutierrez chipped in with a rushing TD.

Junior running back Hadon Lopez rumbled for 132 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He played strictly middle linebacker the previous six games to prevent another knee injury.

"I give all the credit to the line," said Lopez, who missed the first three games of the season. "I couldn't do it without them."

Ceres High had two chances to tie the game late in the fourth quarter.

Hadon Lopez's 2-yard TD run cut the deficit to 21-20 with 4:09 to play in the fourth quarter. Kyle Cerny's low point-after kick was blocked.

The Hawks extended their lead to 28-20 when Jones sprinted 65 yards for a touchdown and Daniel Ochoa added the PAT at the 2:46 mark.

The Bulldogs answered in a hurry as Canatsy got behind a Central Valley defensive back and managed to stay in bounds in the right corner of the end zone while hauling in a 17-yard TD pass from Welsh.

The Hawks stopped Hadon Lopez on a potential game-tying two-point conversion run with 1:02 remaining.

Central Valley recovered the onside kick and ran out the clock.

"I think we would have won if we went into overtime because of our line," Hadon said. "They played physical tonight."

The Hawks led 14-7 at halftime.

Navarro scored twice (3, 1) on QB keepers.

The Bulldogs tied the contest at 14-all with impressive drives of 80 and 99 yards, respectively.

Lopez and Gutierrez accounted for Ceres High's rushing touchdowns.

Hadon scored on a 1-yard run on fourth down in the first half and Jesse powered his way into the end zone on a 6-yard run in the third quarter.

Linebacker Alex Casas' interception led to Central Valley's third score. The Hawks marched 51 yards in 14 plays. Jones finished off the drive with a 3-yard TD run with 7:27 to play in the fourth quarter.

"It was a great game," Bulldogs head coach Brett Johnson said. "It would have been nice to tie it and go into overtime. But it didn't happen."

"I give respect to all of Ceres High's players," Jones said. "They played their hearts out."

The Hawks defeated the Bulldogs in nail-biting fashion. Around 2,000 fans bore witness and got their monies worth.

The Ceres Classic perpetual trophy will remain at Central Valley for another year.

"This is how the game should be played every season but with us winning," Johnson said.

"The atmosphere is intense," Hadon said. "It's not like any other game."

"My heart was jumping up and down the whole game," Jones said. "It was a wonderful experience. We never stopped believing. We wanted it bad."