Central Valley High School's varsity football team didn't play its best but still managed to win last week.
The Hawks overcame a slow start and pulled away from the host Vikings for a 41-20 victory on Friday at Johansen High School.
"We just weren't mentally ready for the game," Central Valley head coach Jason McCloskey said. "That won't happen again. Playoffs teams don't do that. You have to be ready for every game no matter who you're playing."
Central Valley improved to 2-1 in non-conference play.
Johansen dropped to 0-3 on the year.
Hawk quarterback Kendel Johnson passed for 172 yards and two touchdowns, and ran for 116 yards and one score.
"He was deadly again," McCloskey said.
Junior Angelo Bermudez caught three passes for 126 yards and two TDs.
"He really was a factor for us," McCloskey said. "He's stepping up. He's a talented guy."
Ja'Quan Gardner gained 139 yards and scored two touchdowns on 16 carries.
Gardner dinged his knee in the first quarter and didn't return to the game until the second half.
Ahead comfortably, Ja'Quan watched from the sidelines for the majority of the fourth quarter.
Marcus Clark had a 33-yard reception.
Johansen had its hands full with Central Valley's multi-faceted offense.
The Hawks rolled up 435 yards of total offense, including 263 rushing.
Central Valley didn't punt once.
"That's what's nice about our offense," McCloskey said. "We have so many weapons."
The Vikings challenged the Hawks in the first half.
The two teams traded scores after Johnson scooted 43 yards for a touchdown on a read-option run.
Johnson's 63-yard TD pass to Bermudez and Alvaro Rodriguez's second point-after kick gave Central Valley a 14-6 lead at the break.
The Vikings limited Gardner to 11 yards on his first five carries.
"They were focusing so much on trying to stop Ja'Quan," McCloskey said. "Johansen was feisty. It was quiet at halftime. The guys knew they let each other down."
Central Valley avoided a major letdown by turning a close game into a rout.
Johnson tossed a 68-yard touchdown pass to Bermudez, Raul Godinez returned an interception 30 yards for a score and Gardner had a 41-yard TD run in the third quarter.
Ja'Quan added a 15-yard rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter. Gardner's second TD and Rodriguez's PAT increased Central Valley's lead to 41-14.
"We started doing things better in the second half," McCloskey said. "It was good to see our kids respond like that. I give Johansen a lot of credit. They got some nice athletes. They play hard. We were trying to pitch a shutout but that didn't happen because of blown assignments."
Central Valley will play at Madera South (0-2) this Friday. The non-league game will begin at 7:30 p.m.