Eliminated from playoff consideration a week earlier, Central Valley’s varsity football team enjoyed a memorable ending to the 2019 campaign.
The Hawks dominated the El Capitan Gauchos, 49-17, Friday night in Merced.
“Our goal was to finish the season with a win,” quarterback Andrew Hernandez said. “We didn’t overlook our opponent. We played to the best of our ability.”
The Hawks posted a 4-6 overall record and finished in fifth place in the Central California Conference standings (2-4).
The last-place Gauchos went 1-9 and 0-5.
Central Valley collected wins against Ceres High, Enochs, Golden Valley and El Capitan this fall.
The Hawks lost to Sierra, Ripon, Merced, Atwater, Patterson and Buhach Colony.
Buhach Colony (9-0, 5-0) and Atwater (7-2, 4-1) will battle for the CCC title this Friday.
Ripon (8-1, 4-1) currently sits in a three-way tie for first place atop the Trans Valley League.
Sierra (6-3, 2-3), the third-best team in the Valley Oak League, will be awarded a postseason berth along with Buhach Colony, Atwater and Ripon.
“Every team’s goal is playoffs. We fell short. I’m proud of the way we played.”QB Andrew Hernandez
“Every team’s goal is playoffs,” Hernandez said. “We fell short. I’m proud of the way we played.”
“Our schedule was so tough,” junior running back Isaiah Hidalgo said.
Hidalgo accounted for four of the Hawks’ seven touchdowns last week.
He had three rushing scores and one receiving.
Hernandez threw three TD passes.
Erick Martinez Stucchi and Dylan Kong both had one receiving touchdown.
Xavier Alvarez scored once on the ground.
Central Valley led 21-10 at intermission.
Hidalgo had a 15-yard TD catch sandwiched between 1-yard scores.
The Hawks tallied four touchdowns during the second half.
Central Valley limited Mountain House to just seven points.
“Our defense shut them down and our offense put points on the board,” Hidalgo said. “Everything was working.”
Central Valley coaches exchanged handshakes and hugs with Hawk players at the conclusion of the season finale.
“Everybody got a little emotional,” Hernandez said. “I’m going to miss my teammates more than football. We got real close. They’re like brothers. It’s a big family. I wouldn’t want anybody else as a head coach. He (Scott Edwards) taught me a lot.”
“What makes me happy is seeing the seniors win their last high school game,” Hidalgo stated.