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CV loses key player to injury
Quarterback Mario Gonzalez suffers broken collarbone
Junior quarterback Mario Gonzalez broke his left collarbone during the third quarter of Central Valley’s 21-20 loss to crosstown-rival Ceres High. - photo by Dale Butler

Central Valley High School’s football team suffered a double loss while competing against crosstown-rival Ceres High this past week.

Starting quarterback Mario Gonzalez broke his left collarbone during the Hawks’ 21-20 setback to the Bulldogs on Friday at CUSD Stadium.

The 5-foot-7 150-pound junior will most likely be sidelined for the rest of the year.

“I have to make another appointment to see if I’m going to need surgery,” he said. “I don’t know when I’m going to come back. It sucks I probably won’t play the rest of the season.”

“Losing him hurts,” Central Valley linebacker/kicker Luis Munoz said. “He’s a big part of our team. He’s a great leader. He’s always there for everybody. We’re going to miss him on the field. I hope he recovers soon.”

Gonzalez, who stands just 5-foot-7 and weighs 150 pounds, sustained the injury to his non-throwing shoulder while being tackled by a pair of Bulldog defensive players in the third quarter. Gonzalez was driven into the ground.

“I was running the ball and got tackled from the side,” he said. “I heard it crack. I’ve never felt a pain like that in my life before. I knew something was wrong.”

Gonzalez completed 5 of 11 passes for 83 yards with two touchdowns and one interception prior to exiting the game against Ceres High. He ran for 43 yards on 10 carries.

The Hawks (1-2) lost by just one point to the unbeaten Bulldogs (3-0).

“One of my teammate’s moms called my mom after the game,” said Gonzalez, who was taken to Memorial Medical Center in Modesto for X-rays of his collarbone. “Everybody thought they were going to blow us out. Our defense played great.”

“We were playing hard every snap for our quarterback,” Munoz added.

The Jackson brothers, Darrius and Elijah, logged playing time at quarterback against Ceres High.

Darrius rushed for a team-high 66 yards on 13 attempts prior to exiting the contest with a leg cramp.

Elijah finished the game at quarterback. His potential go-ahead 2-point conversion pass to Hawk backup tight end Juan Alonzo was broken up in the end zone late in the fourth quarter. Central Valley opted to go for the win in regulation after Elijah’s 18-yard touchdown run cut the deficit to 21-20 with 1:33 left in regulation.

Darrius will start in place of Mario for the rest of the year.

“I still have confidence in the team,” Gonzalez said. “Darrius is a great player and athlete. It’s going to suck not being able to play. I’ll make the most out of it. I’ll be there helping him (Darrius) with anything he needs.”

“I’m sad for Mario,” Goblirsch said. “I know it hurts physically and emotionally. I still think there’s a role for him in this program even though he can’t play.”

Gonzalez passed for 376 yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions through Central Valley’s first three games. He rushed for 147 yards on 24 carries, both team-highs.

“Mario’s growth from over the summer has been leaps and bounds ahead of where it was at this time last year,” Goblirsch said. “His attitude has been very positive. He works hard. He’s a competitor. The guys follow and respect him. .”

“I have one more year,” Gonzalez said. “I’m going to recover and get back to where I was. I want to help bring that (crosstown showdown) trophy back to CV.”