The grind of playing an ultra-competitive schedule has proven to be quite challenging for Central Valley’s varsity football program.
The Hawks dropped to 1-5 overall and 0-2 in the Central California Conference following Friday night’s 28-14 setback at Atwater.
The Falcons improved to 5-1 and 2-0.
Atwater and Merced, Central Valley’s first two conference opponents, have a combined record of 11-1.
The Hawks had three starting offensive linemen miss last week’s league contest, including center Angel Porras (ankle), right tackle Vince Bocanegra (concussion protocol) and left tackle Ezekiel Ruiz (family commitment).
“Being our first year in the CCC, we knew it was going to be harder. The CCC isn’t easy. You really got to bring it.”Tackle Vince Bocanegra
“Being our first year in the CCC, we knew it was going to be harder,” Bocanegra said. “The CCC isn’t easy. You really got to bring it.”
Central Valley generated just 184 yards of total offense against the Falcons.
The Hawks were limited to just 8 net rushing yards on 20 carries.
Ryan Palecek gained 40 yards on four carries.
Palecek’s lone catch resulted in a 12-yard touchdown.
Sophomore Isaiah Hidalgo mustered just 5 yards on nine carries.
Junior quarterback Andrew Hernandez completed 11 of 25 passes for 169 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions.
Sacked four times, Hernandez had minus-37 yards on the ground.
He also lost one fumble.
Mark Ramirez threw a 10-yard TD pass to Dylan Kong on a trick play.
Erick Martinez caught three passes for 110 yards.
Central Valley’s defensive unit was forced to make 82 tackles.
Ramirez collected a team-high 12 tackles.
Chris Simental and Tony Gaut registered 10 and nine tackles, respectively.
Derek Bolivar tallied eight tackles and one interception.
Alex Guzman chipped in with six tackles, one sack and one fumble recovery.
David Martinez had four tackles and one forced fumble.
Tied at 14-all, the Falcons pulled way by tallying two touchdowns during the second half.
“It was neck and neck in the first half,” Bocanegra said. “The second half, we didn’t play as well. Maybe we could have won if we had our whole offensive line. But they deserved to win. They’re a good team that got the best of us.”
Central Valley tasted defeat for the fifth consecutive week.
The Hawks have squandered leads in losses to Atwater, Enochs and Sierra.
Central Valley has been outscored 172-94 this year.
“All losses make you want to work harder and get better,” Bocanegra said. “We just got to play our game. Win or lose, we still have each other.”
The Hawks will compete against the Golden Valley Cougars (3-2, 1-1) this Friday in Merced.
Kickoff slated for 7 p.m.