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CV, CHS compete on road
Mario Gonzalez
New quarterback Mario Gonzalez had one touchdown pass during Central Valley’s scrimmage versus McNair. - photo by Dale Butler

Central Valley’s and Ceres High’s football programs traveled to Downey and Orestimba, respectively, on Friday for full-contact scrimmages.

The Hawks competed against the McNair Eagles, Beyer Patriots and Downey Knights.

“We’ve been waiting a long time to hit other people,” Central Valley tight end/nose guard Elijah Jackson said. “Today we showed out.”

“Overall, I thought we did well,” Hawks’ head coach Derrick Goblirsch said. “We held our own. It gives us some confidence moving forward.”

Jackson, who stands 5-foot-10 and weighs 260-pounds, energized his teammates with his overall play on offense.

He accounted for the Hawks’ lone touchdown against McNair.

Junior quarterback Mario Gonzalez delivered a short pass to Jackson, who turned upfield, avoided being tackled and raced into the end zone.

“My play was a drag route,” Jackson said. “There was open field so I stopped. It was a very good play call and read by the quarterback.”

“I really did surprise the other team,” he added. “They didn’t think I was that fast. People doubt me because of my size and weight.”

“I saw him crossing the middle and he was wide open,” Gonzalez stated. “I had to dump it off and he made the play.”

“We got a lot of positive comments about him (Jackson),” Goblirsch said. “We knew he was a special talent watching him at practice. He doesn’t move like a lineman. That’s why we made the switch from tackle to tight end. He’s going to have a good year for us.

Junior running back Joey Zuniga had two rushing TDs versus Beyer.

Senior receiver Amari O’Bryant caught one TD pass.

Gonzalez, Central Valley’s new quarterback, showed flashes of excellence during the scrimmage.

“I’m not happy with how I did,” said Gonzalez, his own biggest critic. “I could have done better.”

“I’m very happy with how he performed and where’s he’s at,” Goblirsch said. “He was making the right throws. There are a few things he can work on—mainly his footwork and where his eyes are pre-snap.”

The Bulldogs battled the Orestimba Warriors, El Capitan Gauchos and Dos Palos Broncos in Newman.

Quarterback Landyn Hudson, running back Tarrell Lee-Gill, receiver Ricky Stanley and tight end Lebron Stallworth led Ceres High.

“Overall, our team performed well,” said Hudson, a third-year starter. “Everyone got reps. We didn’t show too much out of our playbook. We were able to run our bread-and-butter plays.”

“Moving up the depth chart on our team is hard to do,” he added. “We’re all playing at such a high level, even the guys behind our starters.”

Central Valley and Ceres High will open the 2022 season this Friday.

The Hawks will play host to the Pitman Pride at CUSD Stadium. Kickoff slated for 7 p.m.

The Bulldogs will face West of Tracy on the road at 7:30 p.m.

“We’ve been counting down the days,” Hudson said. “We’re ready to suit up and make that trip to Tracy. The first game of the season sets the tone. Everybody knows that.”

Elijah Jackson
Elijah Jackson’s play at tight end drew praise from coaches when Central Valley scrimmaged at Downey on Friday. - photo by Dale Butler