The disappointment of having its season cut short by Ceres High last fall served as motivation for Central Valley this year.
The Hawks improved their all-time record versus the crosstown-rival Bulldogs to 8-2 in varsity football Friday night with an impressive 48-14 road victory.
"It was an awesome team effort," Central Valley head coach Scott Edwards said. "The guys have answered the challenge. I'm just proud of the overall performance. It's great to see my players happy and to be a part of it."
Central Valley, which secured its second playoff berth a week earlier, set a program record for wins in a season.
The Hawks improved to 7-3 and placed second in the Western Athletic Conference (5-1).
The Bulldogs finished 3-7 and fifth in the WAC standings (2-4).
"We're a different team from last year," Central Valley senior all-purpose player Moses Ghiorso said. "We weren't even thinking about playoffs. We were thinking about beating Ceres and getting the trophy back for our school. We treated them like a faceless opponent. We had the mindset going into the game we couldn't take them lightly."
Ghiorso totaled 214 yards and four touchdowns on 16 carries versus Ceres High.
Fullback Jamarea Lumpkin rushed for 156 yards and one touchdown on 25 carries.
Johnny Pittman carried the ball three times for 24 yards and a TD.
Hawk quarterback Reuben Rodriguez completed 5 of 9 passes for 83 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions.
Franky Ramirez caught two passes for 43 yards and one score.
"Moses is pretty impressive from an athletic standpoint," Ceres High junior quarterback Chris Lubinsky said. "Jamarea gives them a change of pace."
Central Valley's defense allowed just one touchdown.
The Hawks sacked Lubinsky five times.
Adrian Badillo and Estevan Barragan both collected a team-high seven tackles.
Erik Mejia had six tackles and one sack.
Jonathan Barragan had five tackles and one sack.
Oso Fregoso had four tackles and one sack.
Bobby Nieto and David Serrano finished with two tackles and one sack apiece.
"We didn't have to bring pressure," Edwards said. "Our front four were able to do it. We didn't have to put stress on our secondary at all."
Down 14-7, Central Valley outscored Ceres High 41-0 during the final three quarters.
Ghiorso scored three times in the second quarter.
"He switched the momentum to Central Valley's side," Lubinsky said.
The Hawks avenged last year's 24-7 loss to the Bulldogs. The setback eliminated Central Valley from playoff consideration on the final day of the regular season.
"We learned from our past mistakes," Edwards said. "It's been fun watching the growth and development of the team. We still got more in us."
Central Valley notched its fourth straight victory last week.
"We went into the game expecting to win," Lubinsky said. "It's disappointing to not execute to our full potential. They were definitely the better team tonight. They deserved to win. Central Valley is peaking at the right time. They have a great team. They've worked hard to get to where they're at."
Central Valley's student section rushed the field at the conclusion of the crosstown game.
The Hawks spoiled Ceres High's Senior Night, collected their seventh win and finished second in the WAC.
"It feels amazing having a big night like that," Ghiorso said. "It means a lot to us, especially the seniors. We're making school history."
"Both teams knew the importance of the game," Lubinsky added. "Unfortunately, it didn't go our way."