Overcome with emotion, Moses Ghiorso cried following the Central Valley High School varsity football team's 42-21 victory over 2014 Western Athletic Conference champion Los Banos Friday night in Ceres.
The Hawks had their season cut short a year ago by crosstown-rival Ceres High. The 24-7 loss prevented Central Valley from securing its second consecutive playoff berth.
"It's a big win for us," Ghiorso said. "We went into the game with the right mindset. We were playing for three things-playoffs, seeding and second place in league. I'm really happy that we won. When you play as a team, you can beat anybody."
Central Valley improved to 6-3 overall and 4-1 in the Western Athletic Conference standings.
The Tigers dropped to 6-3 and 3-2.
The Hawks will make their second-ever playoff appearance.
"We accomplished our goal," Ghiorso said. "I'm not surprised. We've been working really hard."
Los Banos had trouble containing Ghiorso as he rushed for 224 yards and four touchdowns on just 10 carries. He also caught two passes for 19 yards and one score.
"Our offensive line was blocking," he said. "They were making holes for me."
Central Valley fullback Jamarea Lumpkin gained 94 yards and scored one touchdown on 14 carries.
Hawk quarterback Reuben Rodriguez completed six of 11 passes for 77 yards with one TD and no picks.
Robert Nieto had a 30-yard reception.
Franky Ramirez totaled 23 yards on two catches.
Sophomore Estevan Barragan racked up 16 tackles, to go along with two pass deflections.
Adrian Badillo registered 12 tackles and recovered one fumble.
Carlos Rodriguez tallied nine tackles and one pass deflection.
Alex Alvarado had eight tackles and one forced fumble.
Emani Anitelea had six tackles one sack.
Erik Mejia had four tackles one sack.
Oso Fregoso had four tackles and one fumble recovery.
"Our defense has been doing really well all season," Ghiorso said. "Our offense is finally starting to pick it up."
Central Valley raced out to a 28-7 lead as it dominated Los Banos during the first half.
Ghiorso accounted for all four of the Hawks' touchdowns, including a 96-yard scamper.
"Our defense was making stops and our offense capitalized on their mistakes," Ghiorso said.
Scott Edwards, Central Valley's second-year head coach, got doused with water after the playoff-berth clinching victory.
Hawk fans celebrated on the field, too.
"I was crying," Ghiorso said. "I was really emotional. It was Senior Night. We've come a long way."
Central Valley and Ceres High will battle at Bulldog Stadium this Friday. The WAC season finale will get underway at 7 p.m.
The Bulldogs upset the Hawks last season.
The Hawks will be vying for a program-record seventh win this week.
"We have more stuff to play for," Ghiorso said. "I'm really excited. The whole team is excited. If we win, it would be great for our program. It's not going to be easy."