Forced to compete shorthanded due to disciplinary reasons, Central Valley High School's varsity football team received solid contributions from different players during last week's non-conference clash with Franklin.
Led by Bobby Nieto, Jonathan Barragan and Estevan Barragan, the Hawks broke into the win column for the first time this season with a 33-12 win over the Yellowjackets Friday night in Stockton.
"There was some concern," Central Valley head coach Scott Edwards said. "The other players took it as a challenge and as an opportunity to step up. We won without a couple of key cogs. We built some confidence."
The Hawks improved to 1-2 overall.
The Yellowjackets dropped to 1-2 on the season.
"We still have a long way to go," Edwards said. "Offensively, we're still shooting ourselves in the football. Our defense is playing really well. We're still trying to find a personality."
Hawk senior quarterback Reuben Rodriguez completed 9 of 12 passes for 86 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions.
"He had a pretty solid game," Edwards said.
Jonathan Barragan totaled 55 yards and one touchdown on 15 carries while logging playing time in place of Moses Ghiorso, who missed the contest after getting into trouble at practice. The junior running back also had a 7-yard reception.
Hawk tight end Franky Ramirez got ejected from the game in the first half.
"Jonathan did a great job," Edwards said. "He's a real patient runner. He allows things to develop."
Nieto, a senior receiver, totaled 33 yards and one touchdown on two receptions.
Johnny Pittman grabbed three passes for 25 yards.
Josh Sidhu added 15 yards on two catches.
Hawk fullback Jamarea Lumpkin gained 34 yards and scored once on 11 carries. He caught one pass for 6 yards.
"We played a cleaner game in a lot of facets," Edwards said. "We're still not executing on offense very well."
Central Valley had four takeaways on defense, including three picks and one fumble recovery.
Julian Gutierrez returned a blocked a field-goal attempt 70 yards for a touchdown.
Sophomore Estevan Barragan tallied five tackles, intercepted one pass and blocked a field goal.
His older brother Jonathan registered five tackles and forced one fumble.
Emani Anitelea had four tackles and one interception.
Willie Soriano chipped in with two tackles and one interception.
Erik Mejia collected six tackles and one sack.
Alex Alvarado totaled four tackles and one sack.
David Serrano contributed three tackles and one sack.
Central Valley shut out Franklin 20-0 during the second half.
Nieto caught a 19-yard TD pass from Rodriguez in the third quarter.
Lumpkin scored on a 1-yard run and Barragan added a 3-yard rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter.
The Hawks held a slim 13-12 lead at intermission.
Gutierrez returned a blocked field goal 70 yards for a score.
Nieto had a 91-yard kickoff-return touchdown.
"The defensive effort didn't change in the second half," Edwards said. "Special teams stayed solid. We started to wear them down because we were so run heavy. We were methodical in our drives."
Ghiorso will return to Central Valley's lineup this week.
"It wasn't a difficult decision to make," Edwards said when asked why he decided to suspend his top player for one game. "I have the same standards for all of my players. He apologized to his teammates. He realized he let them down. Hopefully, he learns and grows. I don't hold grudges."
The Hawks will wrap up their preseason schedule on Friday.
Central Valley will face host Enochs (0-3) at Gregori High School.
Kickoff slated for 7:30 p.m.
"You don't want to look ahead at this point," Edwards said. "Every game matters. They're 0-3 because they've played Turlock, Buhach Colony and Manteca. They're a quality team. They have some talent."