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Heartbreak at Central Valley
Head coach Jason McCloskey didn't make any excuses following the Central Valley High School varsity football team's agonizing 21-20 loss to tradition-rich Patterson on Saturday in Ceres.

Emergency quarterback Brandon Williams scored on a 1-yard run with 44 seconds to play, Bryan DeAnda booted the go-ahead point-after kick and Ruben Rosas blocked Alvaro Rodriguez's potential game-winning 36-yard field-goal as time expired.

Playing on campus for the first time, Central Valley came oh-so-close to notching its biggest win in program history.

"I'm not happy about losing," McCloskey said. "But they have nothing to be ashamed of. We played a great game. We were a couple plays away. If we play like this the rest of the year, nobody is going to stop us."

Central Valley dropped to 4-2 on the year and 1-1 in the WAC standings.

Patterson improved to 4-1 overall and 1-0 in conference play.

The Hawks lost 33-0 to the Tigers last season.

Central Valley junior Ja'Quan Gardner rushed for 167 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries.

Hawk quarterback Abraham Navarro completed 5 of 11 passes for 81 yard with one touchdown.

Kenny Lopez caught two passes for 25 yards and one TD.

Sophomore Angelo Bermudez accumulated 34 yards on two receptions.

Gardner put the Hawks ahead 20-14 when he scored on a 1-yard run at the 11:09 mark of the fourth quarter. Rodriguez missed a PAT for just the second time this season.

Central Valley had two drives stall at Patterson's 35-yard line late in the game.

The Hawks' tiring defense allowed the Tigers to march 80 yards during their final offensive possession.

When the game was on the line, Williams completed a 29-yard pass to Jordan Levu on fourth-and-10. Levu outjumped Gardner and Raul Godinez at Central Valley's 1-yard line.

Patterson star quarterback Joey Lopes exited the game with a left shoulder injury early in the third quarter.

The Hawks got the ball back with 37 seconds to play at their own 25-yard line.

Navarro marched Central Valley into position for the potential, winning field goal.

Abraham completed a 26-yard pass to Bermudez. Angelo stepped out of bounds at Patterson's 24.

An offsides penalty moved the ball to the 19-yard line with 3 seconds to play.

"There's a lot of pressure," said Rodriguez, who showed off his leg strength at halftime with 45-yard makes. "This was my first field-goal attempt of the year. I was just focused on the ball. I didn't see him coming. You got to shake it off. There's always next time."

"It looked like he was going to make it," said Nick Marchy, Patterson's second-year head coach and a 1997 Ceres High graduate. "The ball was going down the middle."

Central Valley and Patterson battled to a 14-14 tie in the opening half.

The Hawks and Tigers traded scores twice.

Avion Warmsley hauled in a 51-yard TD pass from Lopes in the first quarter.

Navarro rolled to his right, avoided a sack and tossed a 16-yard TD pass to Lopez on fourth down.

Patterson's Drake Vatuvei bowled his way into the end zone from the 1-yard line with 24 seconds remaining in the opening period.

Gardner shed several tackles on his way to scoring on a 46-yard run in the second quarter.

"That was a great game," Marchy said. "I didn't envision it being that close. But I knew it wasn't going to be a cakewalk. I saw them play against Livingston. They can stretch the field both ways and play tough defense. Each year, they're getting better."

Marchy improved his coaching record versus Ceres Unified School District teams to 3-0.

Patterson will face Ceres High, a team it beat 40-7 last year, on Oct. 26.

Senator Anthony Cannella, who previously served as mayor of Ceres from 2005-10, took part in the coin-toss ceremony for the Central Valley-Patterson game.

The Hawks don't have a game this week.

Central Valley will play at Pacheco on Oct. 12.

All-purpose player Kendel Johnson, a transfer from Beyer and former Ceres Cowboys youth football standout, will be eligible to compete for the Hawks.

Johnson was forced to sit out the first six games to satisfy a CIF rule.