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Hawks shut out Vikes
Central Valley High School's varsity football team won its home opener last week.

The Hawks moved to 2-1 on the year following Friday's 27-0 victory over Johansen at Bulldog Stadium.

The Vikings dropped to 0-3 overall.

"We had fun," Central Valley head coach Jason McCloskey said. "We're headed in the right direction. We still have a lot of areas to improve in."

The Hawks ran a total of 55 offensive plays.

Central Valley piled up 353 yards, including 286 on the ground, and punted just once.

Ja'Quan Gardner, the top running back in the Stanislaus District in 2011, rumbled for 172 yards and two touchdowns on 24 carries.

He caught two passes for 24 yards.

He tallied one interception and two pass deflections on defense.

Gardner had TD runs of 79 and 36 yards negated because of penalties.

"He had another workman-like day," McCloskey said.

Juan Plasencia gained 49 yards on seven carries.

Benjamin Anitelea ripped off a 30-yard run on his first and only touch on offense. The bruising fullback/linebacker hurt his knee on the play and didn't return to the game. Anitelea tallied six tackles.

Quarterback Abraham Navarro completed 6 of 17 passes for 67 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. He rushed for 30 yards on four attempts.

"For the most part, he did a good job," McCloskey said.

Milton Uti and Marcus Clark hauled in TD passes of 12 and 6 yards, respectively, as Central Valley grabbed a 13-0 lead in the first half.

Clark also contributed on the defensive side of the ball. He had three tackles, one sack and one fumble recovery.

Gardner accounted for both of the Hawks' second-half touchdowns (3, 1).

Alvaro Rodriguez made three of four point-after kicks.

Jesus Medina registered seven tackles and one sack.

Josh Garcia, Anitelea's replacement, totaled five tackles.

"A lot of guys contributed," McCloskey said. "We were fundamentally strong and eliminated big plays. I was impressed with our ability to shut them down."

Benjamin, Milton and their Central Valley teammates excited the crowd prior to kickoff when they performed the Haka war dance. Anitelea and Uti came up with the idea at the JV level last season. The two cousins are proud of their Samoan heritage.

"It provided energy," McCloskey said.

Central Valley will wrap up its preseason schedule against Madera South this Friday at Bulldog Stadium. The contest will begin at 7:30 p.m.