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Gerald Garcia smiled wide as he hoisted the Ceres Classic trophy over his head. The 5-foot-7-inch, 155-pound senior ran back the opening kickoff 95 yards for a score, caught a 9-yard touchdown pass and broke up a potential TD in the end zone as the Central Valley High School varsity football team held off Ceres High 25-20 in front of a capacity crowd in the second-ever meeting between the two programs Thursday night at Bulldog Stadium.

"It's very satisfying," said Garcia, who was in tears following Central Valley's 20-7 loss to Ceres High in 2006. "We just wanted to get revenge for last year. I'm so happy. You don't even know."

"I didn't even look," Bulldogs senior quarterback Zack Atchison said when asked what it felt like watching Hawk fans, players and coaches celebrate the victory. "That's their thing."

Central Valley finished the year with a 3-7 record. The Hawks placed sixth in the eight-team VOL (2-5).

Ceres High posted an 0-10 record. The Bulldogs placed last in league (0-7).

"I'm very proud of the boys," Ceres High coach Brett Johnson said. "They never gave up all season. They fought all 10 games, all 40 quarters."

Central Valley amassed 318 total yards of offense against the Bulldogs in the 2007 VOL season finale.

The Hawks gained 205 yards on the ground on 39 carries. Joaquin Casas ran for 133 yards and one touchdown on 27 carries. Sophomore Vince Lopez added 58 yards and a score on eight attempts.

Junior quarterback Trevor Mew completed 14 of 18 passes for 113 yards with one TD and an interception.

Garcia caught seven passes for 47 yards with a score.

Junior Rick Rogers grabbed four passes for 32 yards.

The Bulldogs rolled up 254 yards on offense.

Atchison completed 12 of 23 passes for 142 yards and one touchdown to Brandon Avila.

Martino Bertolotti made five catches for 60 yards.

Hadon Lopez, Matt Smith and Marcus Hilgen rushed for 44, 35 and 34 yards, respectively. Lopez, a freshman, carried the ball just seven times en route to scoring on a 6-yard run.

"We tried our hardest," Atchison said. "I don't think anybody held back at all. We had our chances."

The Bulldogs turned the ball over on downs twice inside Central Valley's 25-yard line.

It didn't take long for the Hawks to get on the scoreboard in the first quarter. Garcia fielded the opening kickoff at the Central Valley 5 and scampered 95 yards to paydirt.

"My teammates blocked for me," he said.

Ceres High's first possession almost resulted in a touchdown. The 11-play, 77-yard drive stalled at the Hawks' 9. Atchison's fourth-down pass to Michael Staggs in the end zone was broken up by Garcia.

In the second quarter, Hadon Lopez intercepted a Mew pass and returned it 24 yards for a TD. Smith booted the game-tying, extra point.

The Hawks responded with back-to-back touchdowns. Vince Lopez scored on a 16-yard run. Mew and Garcia hooked up for a 9-yard TD to make it 19-7 at the 2:14 mark.

Ceres High benefited from two Central Valley penalties on its way to scoring on its final possession of the opening half.

Atchison's 8-yard strike to Avila brought the Bulldogs within six points with 1:08 remaining.

Ceres High had an eight-play, 63-yard drive end at the Hawks' 23 in the third quarter. Atchison fired an incomplete pass to Avila in the right corner of the end zone on fourth down.

Central Valley increased its lead to 25-13 when Casas scored on a 4-yard run 54 seconds into the fourth quarter. The 16-play, 77-yard drive lasted eight minutes.

The Bulldogs used a heavy dose of Hadon Lopez to get back into the game. His sixth carry produced a TD and cut the deficit to five with 6:18 to play.

Central Valley milked the clock down to 1:14 on its second-to-last possession thanks to three third-down conversions. The Hawks eventually turned the ball over on downs at the Bulldogs' 18 as Mew failed to connect with a receiver on fourth-and-11.

The defensive stand gave Ceres High one last chance to win the game with no timeouts and a little over a minute left on the clock. Atchison hit Bertolotti for a 32-yard gain on second down. His fourth-down pass fell incomplete 15 yards downfield.

"In a game like that, you hate for anyone to be a loser," Johnson said.

"It was pretty impressive for them to keep it close," Garcia stated. "I had a feeling it was going to be a good game."

"Everybody doubted us," Hadon Lopez added. "We came out and proved them wrong."