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Ceres High, Central Valley to meet for final time in WAC play
Crosstown rivals will clash in football this Friday
David Serrano and Central Valley will battle Ceres High on Friday. The Western Athletic Conference season finale will begin at 7 p.m. - photo by DALE BUTLER/The Courier

Central Valley's and Ceres High's varsity football teams will battle for the final time as members of the Western Athletic Conference on Nov. 3 at Bulldog Stadium.

The Bulldogs will remain in the WAC and Hawks will move to the Central California Conference as part of the Sac-Joaquin Section's league realignment plan for 2018-19.

Ceres High and Central Valley have yet to finalize an agreement to meet in non-conference play in future years.

"It could be the last time we play," Hawks senior lineman David Serrano said. "Both teams are going to play hard. It's going to be a great game. Whoever is watching is going to get their monies worth."

Crosstown-rivals Central Valley and Ceres High have faced off 11 times since 2006.

The Hawks hold an all-time record of 9-2 versus the Bulldogs.

Central Valley beat Ceres High in 2016 (51-10), 2015 (48-14), 2013 (48-15), 2012 (40-13), 2011 (55-11), 2010 (55-24), 2009 (28-26), 2008 (40-7) and 2007 (25-20).

The Bulldogs won the inaugural matchup in 2006 (20-7) and defeated the Hawks in 2014 (24-7).

Ceres High prevented Central Valley from making the playoffs on the final day of the 2014 regular season.

"The atmosphere is a lot different than any other Friday night because it's a rivalry game," Serrano said. "If you win, your school is going to love your team. You're the talk of the town until the next football season."

The Hawks scored seven unanswered touchdowns en route to closing out the 2016 WAC campaign with a 51-10 win over the Bulldogs.
Central Valley pestered Ceres High senior quarterback Chris Lubinsky for most of the night.

Lubinsky, who entered the game with 27 touchdowns and just four interceptions, threw four picks and got sacked five times during his final game with the Bulldogs.

Bulldog running back Andrew Gibson mustered 27 yards on five attempts.

The Hawks piled up a season-high 409 rushing yards against the Bulldogs.

Central Valley running back Estevan Barragan gained 89 yards and scored twice on six carries.

The Hawks outscored the Bulldogs 51-0 during the final three quarters.

"When we play against Ceres High, the passion is really high," Barragan said. "You want to show them you're the best team in Ceres. It's a cool experience to perform in front of a bigger crowd. You also get to play against some of your youth teammates."

The Ceres Classic perpetual trophy has been in Central Valley's possession for the past two years.

The Hawks have won the crosstown showdown nine times.

"It would mean a lot to our whole team to win the game and get the trophy back," Gibson said. "It's like a brother thing. You want to do better than them."

"We're not going to take them lightly and be overconfident," Serrano said. "Their offense is pretty dangerous, especially their passing game."

Eliminated from Sac-Joaquin Section playoff contention in recent weeks, Central Valley (4-5, 1-3) and Ceres High (3-6, 0-4) will close out the 2017 season on Friday.

Kickoff slated for 7 p.m.
"We know how important the game is," Serrano said. "It's the last crosstown showdown in WAC history. We really want to win. I have faith in my team."

"Friday night is going to be interesting," Bulldogs head coach Bret Durossette said. "We match up well against each other. We'll have an opportunity to compete at a high level. We'll have a chance to win. It could come down to who has the ball last."