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Hawks suffer another loss
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A little over a month ago, Central Valley High School's varsity football team had a 4-1 record and appeared to be headed toward its first-ever playoff appearance.

The Hawks dropped their fourth straight game on Friday as first-place Central Catholic delighted its homecoming fans with a 38-6 victory.

"Our chances at the playoffs are really slim," Central Valley head coach Jason McCloskey said. "I don't know what's going to happen."

The Hawks dropped to 4-5 overall and 1-4 in the Western Athletic Conference.

The Raiders improved to 7-2 and 5-0.

"It was a good effort," McCloskey said. "We didn't quit. That's the best team we've faced. Their offensive and defensive lines are tremendous. They physically beat you up."

Added Central Valley sophomore all-purpose player Angelo Bermudez: "You saw some bright spots. We're only going to get better."

The Hawks managed to gain just five first downs and 113 yards on offense against the Raiders.

Central Valley turned the ball over twice and had a punt blocked in its own territory. Central Catholic had possessions start at the Hawks' 26, 12 and 35.

Central Valley was also penalized seven times for 45 yards.

"We have to eliminate the mistakes," McCloskey said. "Our defense did a really good job against them."

Central Catholic had 208 yards rushing. The Raiders averaged 295 on the ground during their previous four league games.

Hawk running back Ja'Quan Gardner gained 82 yards and scored one touchdown on 16 carries. He scampered 28 yards for a TD against Central Catholic's backups late in the game.

"Ja'Quan did well when we got the ball in his hands," McCloskey said.

Abraham Navarro, Central Valley's veteran quarterback, finished 0-for-4 passing with two interceptions.

Backup Kendel Johnson completed 3 of 6 passes for 15 yards. He rushed for 21 yards on seven carries.

"He (Johnson) did a much better job of operating the offense," McCloskey said. "Abraham will start against Ceres High but we'll use Kendel a lot."

Bermudez had two long kickoff returns both of which were nearly returned for touchdowns.

Angelo raced 75 yards before being tackled deep in Central Catholic territory as time expired in the second quarter.

He also broke free for a 78-yard gain in the third quarter.

"It sucks I couldn't go all the way," said Bermudez, whose team faced a 17-0 deficit at halftime. "I'm not satisfied with my performance."

Bermudez and the Hawks will play against crosstown-rival Ceres High (2-7, 0-5) this Friday at Bulldog Stadium. The contest will begin at 7 p.m.