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Frosh Hawks continue run of success
CV improves to 4-1-1 overall
Defensive end Jorge Avila (88) and Central Valleys freshman football team shut out visiting Livingston 13-0 in WAC play on Thursday at Bulldog Stadium. - photo by DALE BUTLER/The Courier

Central Valley's freshman football team continued its run of excellence this past week.

The Hawks improved to 4-1-1 overall and 1-0 in the Western Athletic Conference standings after blanking the Livingston Wolves 13-0 Thursday night at Ceres High.

Central Valley extended its unbeaten streak to five games.

The Hawks have won their last four contests by a combined score of 81-8.

"We're on a nice, roll right now," Central Valley head coach Scott Barron said. "If we execute and do what we're supposed to all four quarters, I feel confident in our ability to beat just about anybody."

Hawk all-purpose standout Jaeden Merchant returned a punt 71 yards for a touchdown-his second of the year-in the first quarter against the Wolves.

"You get the ball in his hands and good things happen," Barron said.

Tailback Alex Becerra's 2-yard rushing TD gave Central Valley a 13-0 lead early in the fourth quarter.

The Hawks notched their third shutout of the season.

Defensive end Jorge Avila led the way with one sack.
Linebacker Konnor Bailey contributed at linebacker.

"Overall, the defense played really well again," Barron said. "We had a touchdown on special teams for the third week in a row. Everybody was doing their job."

Central Valley collected three wins, one loss and one tie during the preseason.

The Hawks topped West (21-0), Enochs (20-8) and Grace Davis (27-0).

Central Valley and Sierra battled to a 14-14 draw.

The Hawks lost by one point (15-14) to Atwater.

"It all starts with our defense," Barron said. "We've given up just one touchdown in our last four games."

Central Valley will face Los Banos (2-4) on the road this Thursday at 6 p.m.

"Once you get into league, you can throw preseason out," Barron said. "You can't make any assumptions based on records. We're getting into the meat of our schedule now."