Central Valley High School’s football team ended a month’s worth of frustration during the final week of the season.
The Hawks snapped a six-game losing streak and broke into the Central California Conference victory column with a 48-12 blowout of winless El Capitan on Senior Night at CUSD Stadium Friday evening.
“There was a change this week,” Central Valley senior quarterback Yoshi Trujillo said. “Knowing it was our last game, everybody tried harder. This is how we should have played every other game.”
The Hawks amassed a 4-6 record and finished in sixth place in the CCC standings (1-5) this fall.
The last-place Gauchos went 0-10 and 0-6.
Central Valley will lose eight defensive and seven offensive starters to graduation.
“The guys worked hard all year,” Hawks’ head coach Derrick Goblirsch said. “The expectation is to try to have success next season. It starts now. We got to have a good offseason.”
Trujillo completed 5 of 12 passes for 134 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions against El Capitan.
Sophomore quarterback Mario Gonzalez finished 1-for-2 with 15 yards, one touchdown and one interception while making his debut at varsity. He was promoted from the junior-varsity level.
He rushed for 15 yards on one carry.
Gonzalez totaled six tackles and two pass deflections on defense.
Senior running back Omar Mendoza racked up 132 yards and two touchdowns on just eight carries. He also had a 15-yard TD reception.
Senior Elijah DeLeon ran for 81 yards and one touchdown on seven carries. He caught one pass for 37 yards.
Amari O’Bryant totaled 31 yards and one TD on four carries. He made 11 tackles.
Ruben Valenzuela had 51 yards and one touchdown on four receptions. He also had 11 tackles.
Diego Delahoya grabbed three passes for 71 yards.
Central Valley’s new-look offensive line featured Osvaldo Pelayo, Andrew Torres, Sergio Mendoza, Alejandro Castellanos and Elijah Jackson.
“We switched up our offensive line,” Trujillo said. “We had all seniors starting except for our left tackle (Jackson). Everybody stepped up.”
“I was very pleased with how they played,” Goblirsch added.
Senior Edgar Garcia returned an interception 31 yards for a touchdown. He converted six of his seven point-after kicks.
Senior Alejandro Hernandez had nine tackles.
Sophomore Tristan Villicana had nine tackles during his varsity debut.
Felix Arellano had seven tackles.
Elijah Jackson had six tackles and one sack.
Senior Adrian Perez had four tackles and two sacks.
Senior Salvador Ochoa had four pass deflections.
A total of 23 upperclassmen from Central Valley’s football program were recognized prior to kickoff versus El Capitan.
“It was big for us to send the seniors off with a win,” Goblirsch said. “I appreciate all the hard work they put it. They’re definitely going to be missed.”
Central Valley won its first three games of the 2021 season. The Hawks defeated the Pitman Pride, Pacheco Panthers and Ceres High Bulldogs prior to losing to the Enochs Eagles, Buhach Colony Thunder, Golden Valley Cougars, Patterson Tigers, Atwater Falcons and Merced Bears.
Buhach Colony and Atwater beat Central Valley by a combined 11 points. The Hawks lost 20-14 in overtime to the Thunder. Atwater prevailed, 19-14.
“There was a decline after we beat Ceres High,” Trujillo said. “If we would have tried harder and believed in ourselves more, we would have done a lot better.”