Trailing 9-7 late in the first half, West High's decision to gamble on fourth-and-1 deep in its own territory didn't pay off.
The Wolfpack turned the ball over on downs and Estevan Barragan and Central Valley capitalized.
Barragan's 4-yard TD run around the left end as time expired increased the Hawks' lead to 16-7.
"It was a big momentum swing for us stopping that fake punt," Estevan said. "I was surprised they did that because it was a close game. But they wanted to keep their drive going and spark some momentum for themselves."
Central Valley ended up winning its Homecoming varsity football game, 31-14, versus West of Tracy Friday evening at Bulldog Stadium.
"I knew we'd bounce back," said Barragan, whose team lost 14-6 to Enochs the previous week. "Coach (Scott Edwards) always challenges everybody to do better."
The Hawks compiled a 3-2 record during non-conference play.
The Wolfpack went 1-4.
"We should have more wins," Estevan said. "We know the losses we have are because of us. We just need to execute and fix our mental mistakes. There's a lot of room to improve."
Barragan gained 150 yards and scored two touchdowns on 26 carries against West. He also hauled in three passes for 60 yards.
Central Valley quarterback Miguel Jimenez completed 11 of 19 passes for 123 yards with two TDs and one interception.
Ryan Palecek caught five passes for 37 yards and two touchdowns.
Gabriel Rodriguez totaled 26 yards on three receptions.
Efrain Garcia rushed for 66 yards on six carries.
Nasson Sanchez added 31 yards on four attempts.
Vince Bocanegra registered one sack and one safety on defense.
David Serrano had eight tackles, two sacks and one forced fumble.
Palecek had four tackles and one sack.
Sophomore Daniel Ward had five tackles and one sack.
Robert Garcia had two tackles and one fumble recovery.
Sophomore Kyle Hendrix had one tackle, one interception and one pass deflection.
"I want to perform the best I can every game," Estevan said.
Ahead by 10 points, Barragan put the contest out of reach with an 11-yard TD run with 2:32 left in regulation.
Jimenez's 7-yard TD strike to Palecek gave the Hawks a 24-7 lead at the 5:45 mark of the third quarter.
Central Valley tallied the first nine points of the game.
Bocanegra, a 6-foot-2 265-pound defensive lineman, made a tackle in the end zone for a safety with 9:29 remaining in the second quarter.
Several minutes later, Jimenez found a wide-open Palecek in the right flat for a 10-yard touchdown.
West cut the deficit to 9-7 when defensive lineman Jonatan Ramales returned an interception 61 yards for a TD.
"That pick should have never happened," Barragan said. "It was my fault. I ran a different route."
The Hawks and Wolfpack battled to a scoreless tie in the first quarter.
"It's a great feeling getting a win on Homecoming," Barragan said. "You have to put on a show in front of your family and friends. Nobody wants to watch a boring game."
Central Valley will open Western Athletic Conference play against host Livingston (2-3) on Oct. 6.
Kickoff slated for 7 p.m.
"We'll be ready for Livingston and all the other team we play against in league," Barragan said.