Ceres High’s and Central Valley’s junior-varsity football teams battled earlier this month at CUSD Stadium.
The Bulldogs held on for a 26-21 victory over the Hawks on Sept. 2 in front of a large crowd.
“It’s always exciting going against your crosstown rival,” Ceres High head coach Angel Garcia said. “A lot is on the line. You’re battling for bragging rights.”
Central Valley’s potential, game-winning drive ended with a turnover deep in Ceres High territory late in the fourth quarter.
Bulldog defensive end Giovann Sio secured the win with a one-handed interception at Ceres High’s 3-yard line.
“I knew something big was going to happen,” Garcia said. “It was an amazingly, freakish athletic play.”
“I’ve coached Gio since he was 10,” he added. “He’s doing what he loves. He didn’t play last year because he broke his wrist during the jamboree.”
Sio led the Bulldogs’ defense with seven tackles, one sack and one interception.
He also blocked a punt.
Tremond Karriem totaled seven tackles and returned a blocked punt for a touchdown.
Vincent Castrejon had four tackles, one interception and three pass deflections.
Michael Solis and Carlos Montano collected seven and six tackles, respectively.
Ceres High had 280 yards of total offense.
Bulldog quarterback Kyle Chhoeum completed 6 of 14 passes for 178 yards with two touchdowns and one interception.
Isaac Vizcarra gained 72 yards and scored one TD on 12 carries.
He also had a 42-yard touchdown reception.
Manuel Mendoza totaled 70 yards and one score on two catches.
Daniel Davis caught one pass for 44 yards.
“Kyle has a great grasp on the offense,” Garcia said. “He doesn’t shy away from big moments. He’s really progressed. He can only get better.”
Ceres High outscored Central Valley 14-7 during the first half.
Karriem returned a blocked punt 12 yards for a touchdown and Vizcarra scored on a 3-yard run.
The Hawks evened the score at 14-all in the second half.
The Bulldogs grabbed a 26-14 point lead after scoring back-to-back touchdowns.
Chhoeum tossed TD passes to Mendoza (68 yards) and Vizcarra (42 yards).
Central Valley cut the deficit to five points in the fourth quarter.
“I have the ultimate trust and confidence in our guys,” Garcia said. “We knew it was going to be a competitive game. We made mistakes but didn’t stop the relentlessness. We tried to win each play.”
Ceres High (2-1) will play host to Lathrop this Friday at 5 p.m.
Central Valley (1-3) will open CCC play at home against Buhach Colony on Sept. 23. Kickoff slated for 5 p.m.
“I like where we’re at right now,” Garcia said. “But I’m not satisfied. There’s so much room to improve with this group. We’re really big on brotherhood, accountability and discipline. We really preach that.”