Undefeated in the Central California Conference a year ago, Merced’s varsity football team continued its run of dominance in league play with a 28-0 win over visiting Central Valley Friday evening at Veterans Stadium.
The Hawks tried to spoil the Bears’ Homecoming and exact revenge for last season’s 52-6 loss.
“We had extra motivation going into the game,” Central Valley junior running back Isaiah Hidalgo said. “We wanted to show them we’re a better team this year. There’s no way we should have walked out of there with no points. We just didn’t execute. That’s what makes it disappointing.”
Central Valley dropped to 2-3 overall and 0-1 in the CCC standings.
Merced moved to 2-3 and 1-0.
The Hawks need to win three of their final five games to garner postseason consideration.
“There’s still a lot to play for,” Hidalgo said.
The Hawks had 174 yards of total offense against the Bears.
Hidalgo totaled a team-high 83 yards on 22 carries.
He also caught three passes for 20 yards.
Hidalgo rushed for 79 yards and one TD versus Merced in 2018.
Chris Simental added 23 yards on four attempts.
Andrew Hernandez completed 7 of 15 passes for 62 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions.
Erick Martinez-Stucchi had a 28-yard reception.
Dylan Kong finished with 20 yards on three catches.
Merced’s Desmond Thompson scored three rushing TDS (15, 7 and 1).
Deandre Younker had one rushing score.
Central Valley was forced to punt seven times.
“There were a few times we were in the red zone,” Hidalgo said. “We just couldn’t punch it in. They were a fast, physical team.”
The Hawks trailed 14-0 at the break.
Central Valley allowed a pair of touchdowns during the second half.
“Our defense is pretty solid,” Hidalgo said. “We just got to do our part on offense and put points on the board.”
Central Valley will host Atwater (4-1, 1-0) this Friday at CUSD Stadium.
Kickoff slated for 7 p.m.
“It’s going to take heart and physicality,” Hidalgo said while talking about the keys to success for the CCC contest.