No longer in the same league due to the Sac-Joaquin Section’s conference realignment plan, the 13th annual showdown between Ceres High’s and Central Valley’s varsity football teams was staged during the opening week of the 2018 season last Friday.
The Hawks prevailed, 35-0, and beat the Bulldogs for the 11th time.
The Ceres Classic perpetual trophy—the hardware awarded to the winner of the rivalry—will remain with the Hawks for at least another year and maybe even longer.
Central Valley and Ceres High have yet to agree to continue the crosstown series.
“We have to look at all the factors and come to a decision that’s best for both programs,” Bulldogs’ athletic director Shawna Nunes said.
“I hope it’s not the final time we play,” Hawks’ fifth-year head coach Scott Edwards said. “It would be sad if that’s what it came down to.”
“I hope Central Valley remains on our schedule from here on out,” Bulldogs’ first-year head coach Matt Chachere said. “There’s something really special about a rivalry. A lot of people would be disappointed if it got discontinued.”
Established in 2006, Central Valley owns an 11-2 head-to-head record versus Ceres High.
The Hawks bested the Bulldogs in 2017 (35-33), 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)
Ceres High won the inaugural showdown in 2006 (20-7) and eliminated Central Valley from playoff consideration in 2014 (24-7).
“The rivalry is for everybody. The whole school talks about it and gets involved. It’s a community thing. I don’t want to see it end.”Central Valley senior lineman Vince Bocanegra
“The rivalry is for everybody,” Central Valley senior lineman Vince Bocanegra said. “The whole school talks about it and gets involved. It’s a community thing. I don’t want to see it end.”
The Hawks topped the Bulldogs for the fourth year in a row this fall.
“Wherever I go in life, I’m always going to remember beating our rival both years playing varsity,” Bocanegra said.
“It was our last opportunity, as seniors, to beat CV,” Ceres High running back/linebacker Felipe Martinez said. “Sometimes, things don’t go as planned.”
“We’re taking the trophy home to where it belongs,” Hawks’ sophomore running back Isaiah Hidalgo said. “Seeing my teammates happy, especially the seniors, made me happy. They really wanted to win the game.”
Hidalgo and fellow varsity newcomers Andrew Hernandez and Erick Martinez, and veteran Ryan Palecek, helped lead the Hawks past the Bulldogs.
Andrew completed 14 of 15 passes for 132 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions.
Isaiah rushed for 111 yards and two TD on seven carries.
He totaled 35 yards on four receptions.
Erick hauled in TD passes of 9 and 21 yards.
Palecek had a 7-yard TD reception.
The Hawks limited the Bulldogs to 93 yards of total offense.
Ceres High quarterback Clayton Taylor completed 3 of 6 passes for 33 yards.
Felipe Martinez mustered just 19 yards on 18 carries.
He caught one pass for 24 yards.
Martinez completed 2 of 6 passes for 8 yards.
Ivan Arita’s lone carry resulted in a 19-yard gain.
Angel Padilla totaled 17 yards on a team-high four receptions.
Central Valley pulled away after a competitive first quarter.
The Hawks extended their lead to 21-0 in the second quarter.
Central Valley outscored Ceres High 14-0 the rest of the game.
“We got off to a slow start,” Edwards said. “Once we settled down, and I went back to how I normally call a game, we got going. I’m happy with the overall performance.”
“It’s a wakeup call for my team,” Felipe Martinez said. “Obviously, we could have done better. We’re going to bounce back from this.”
The Bulldogs had two senior players suffered season-end leg injuries during the game, including Taylor and receiver/defensive end/punter Skyler Buckhanan.
“It’s tough to have that happen on game night,” Edwards said. “I’ve been on the other side.”
Central Valley plays at Sierra and Ceres High hosts Lodi this Friday at 7 p.m.