The members of Central Valley High School’s football program hoisted the Ceres Classic perpetual trophy in the air moments after grinding out a thrilling 20-18 win over crosstown-rival Ceres High Friday evening in front of a large crowd at CUSD Stadium.
“It’s a moment I’m going to cherish for the rest of my life,” Hawks’ fullback/defensive end Alejandro Hernandez said.
Central Valley topped Ceres High for the seventh consecutive year.
The Hawks improved their head-to-head record versus the Bulldogs to 14-2.
Central Valley (3-0) has won its last eight games dating back to last season.
Ceres High dropped to 1-1 overall.
“To come out on top in a game like that, especially against your rival, is definitely special,” Hawks’ head coach Derrick Goblirsch said. “We expected it to be competitive. Both teams thought they were going to win. The game lived up to the hype.”
Central Valley limited Ceres High to just 218 yards of total offense last week.
Hernandez collected three tackles and two sacks.
Ruben Valenzuela registered six tackles and one sack.
Adrian Perez tallied five tackles and one sack.
Anthony Malagon had three tackles and one sack.
Roberto Tiscareno had two tackles, one interception and one pass deflection.
Alexis Becerra had seven tackles.
Felix Arellano had two tackles and one pass deflection.
Elijah DeLeon recovered one fumble.
The Hawks had a host of contributors on offense, including Hernandez, DeLeon, Perez, Tiscareno, Joseph Alamo, Omar Mendoza and Andrew Torres.
Hernandez rushed for 30 yards and two touchdowns on six carries.
“I give lots of props to my linemen,” he said. “I had huge holes and I was able to run through them.”
DeLeon totaled 21 yards and one TD on five carries.
Perez hauled in two passes for 40 yards.
Alamo ran for 23 yards on eight carries and caught one pass for 41 yards.
Mendoza carried the ball 10 times for 31 yards and grabbed two passes for 13 yards.
Torres gained 22 yards on two carries.
Tiscareno completed 6 of 13 passes for 105 yards.
The 16th installment of the Ceres Classic was competitive from start to finish.
“It was super close,” Hernandez said. “It was nerve racking. I was anxious the whole time.”
Central Valley trailed 12-7 at halftime as DeLeon scored on a 12-yard run in the second quarter.
“It was demoralizing,” Hernandez said. “People were hanging their heads. Coach talked to us and told us the game wasn’t over.”
The Hawks outscored the Bulldogs 13-6 in the fourth quarter.
Hernandez accounted for both of Central Valley’s touchdowns (13 and 4 yards).
“I was expecting to get the ball a few times,” Hernandez said. “I was happy with what I was able to do. In those short-down situations, fullback is a position made for that.”
Ahead by just two points, Central Valley’s offense milked the final four-plus minutes off the clock to secure the victory.
“I was expecting a close game,” Hernandez said. “They have good players and coaches. They played their hearts out.”
“It was definitely high stress the whole game,” Goblirsch said. “They put a lot of pressure on us. We knew they were going to be talented. We were fortunate to come out on top.
“It’s definitely more stressful to coach in games like that. You have to make adjustments and coach. It’s definitely fun.”
Derrick improved his varsity football coaching record to 2-0 against his older brother Clinton.
Clinton and Derrick graduated from Ceres High in 2002 and 2005, respectively.
They were both standout quarterbacks for the Bulldogs.
“Coach never brings it up,” Hernandez said. “But we know it’s there. It’s a sibling rivalry. Seeing him get hyped up and happy after the game felt great. We did what we needed to do. We didn’t let him down.”
“It’s a team win,” Derrick Goblirsch said. “It’s not about any one person doing one thing.”
Central Valley continued its run of dominance against Ceres High.
The Hawks defeated the Bulldogs 36-14 in 2020, 55-13 in 2019, 35-0 in 2018, 35-33 in 2017, 52-10 in 2016 and 48-14 in 2015.
Ceres High won the inaugural showdown in 2006 (20-7) and eliminated Central Valley from playoff consideration in 2014 (24-7).
“It always seems to go our way,” Hernandez said. “We have great coaches. They know how to game plan.”
Central Valley will play host to Enochs (2-0) this Friday at 7 p.m.
The game will be staged at CUSD Stadium.
“I’m happy with how we’re doing so far,” Hernandez said. “The momentum we have right now, we’re going to roll with it.”
“It’s going to be another tough challenge,” Derrick Goblirsch said. “They’re talented.”