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CV to face Antelope in D-II playoffs
Head coach Scott Edwards (right), fullback Gerardo Solorzano and Central Valleys varsity football team will play against host Antelope in the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-II playoffs this Thursday. Kickoff slated for 7:15 p.m. - photo by DALE BUTLER/The Courier

The members of Central Valley's varsity football team watched the Sac-Joaquin Section Playoff Selection Show online inside a classroom on campus Saturday evening.

"Hopefully, we can make it an annual tradition," head coach Scott Edwards said.

The Western Athletic Conference champion Hawks were awarded the 14th seed in Division-II.

"Initially, I was upset," Edwards said. "I was anticipating a seed in the 8-9-10 area. We won nine out of our 10 games. We were 5-0 in league. We deserved more. Central Catholic losing played into the equation. That shifted down a couple of seeds. The selection panel also looks at your strength of schedule and opponents' wins. There are 16 great teams in the playoffs. We're one of them and so are our opponent."

Central Valley will face third-seeded/Capital Valley Conference champion Antelope (10-0, 7-0) in the first round of the playoffs on the road this Thursday at 7:15 p.m.

"In a lot of ways, they're a lot like us," Edwards said. "They're a tough team to defend and they have a solid defense as well."

The Titans' strength on offense is their ground attack.

Antelope can also pass the ball if needed.

Elijah Dotson rushed for 1,779 yards and 20 touchdowns during the regular season.

He caught 12 passes for 363 yards and six TDs.

He returned a kickoff 99 yards for a score.

"Our defense is going to be tested," Edwards said. "He's very talented. Every time he touches the ball, he can score. He's a difference maker."

Antelope quarterback Nick Spagnola totaled 1,588 yards and 12 touchdowns with no interceptions.

Central Valley's defense has allowed just 102 points this season. Linemen Gabriel Quezada and Oso Fregoso have accounted for 22 of the Hawks' 33 sacks.

Quezada tallied 44 tackles, 12 sacks, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and two pass deflections during the regular season.

Fregoso totaled 63 tackles, 10 sacks, four forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and one pass deflection.

Safety Estevan Barragan had 85 tackles, six pass deflections, one fumble recovery and one sack.

Cornerback Chase Winchester had 24 tackles, 15 pass deflections and two interceptions.

Linebacker Nasson Sanchez had 49 tackles, five pass deflections, three fumble recoveries, one forced fumble, one sack and one interception.

Jonathan Barragan leads Central Valley's rushing attack with 1,061 yards and 13 touchdowns.

He's also the Hawks' top receiver (244 yards).

Fullback Gerardo Solorzano has racked up 592 yards and nine TDs.

Quarterback Willie Soriano's totals on the ground are 288 yards and seven touchdowns.

He's passed for 458 yards.

Hawk kicker Angel Lopez has booted field goals of 47, 46, 43, 41, 39, 30 and 28 yards this season.

He's also amassed 19 touchbacks.

Central Valley has enjoyed its most-successful season to date this fall.

The Hawks won their first-ever conference title, set a program records for wins and qualified for the playoffs for the second consecutive year.

Central Valley will put its school-best eight-game winning streak on the line versus Antelope.

"We've had a great season," Edwards said. "We're not done yet. We're looking forward to the challenge."