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Hawks playoff hopes take a major hit
Vincent Bocanegra (62), David Serrano and the Central Valley will play at Patterson Friday night at 7. - photo by DALE BUTLER/The Courier

Central Valley's varsity football team severely damaged its playoff chances this past week.

The visiting Pacheco Panthers shut out the Hawks 23-0 Friday night at Ceres High.

"That's one of the most disappointing losses I've been a part of," Central Valley third-year running back/safety Estevan Barragan said. "We just didn't play to our full potential. Our body language was bad. Our focus and intensity levels were not high. That's not who our team is. We're going to come back strong."

Central Valley dropped to 4-4 overall and 1-2 in the Western Athletic Conference standings.

The Panthers improved to 4-4 and 2-1.

"We have to win out (to make playoffs)," Barragan said. "Anything is possible."

Pacheco dealt Central Valley its second straight loss.

"The WAC is a lot better this year," Barragan said.

The Panthers limited the Hawks to 177 yards of total offense with four turnovers and just six first downs.

"They did a good job of scouting our offense," Barragan said. "They focused on trying to stop me."

Pacheco amassed 313 yards-250 on the ground-and three touchdowns while picking up 16 first downs.

"Our defense was on the field most of the game," Barragan said.

Estevan ran for 62 yards on eight carries.

Hawk teammate Nasson Sanchez rushed for 33 yards on nine attempts.

Sanchez totaled 10 yards on two receptions.

Central Valley quarterback Miguel Jimenez completed just 5 of 15 passes for 83 yards with no touchdowns and three interceptions.

Gabriel Rodriguez caught one pass for 56 yards.

Ryan Palecek caught one pass for 11 yards.

Gabriel Story caught one pass for 6 yards.

Central Valley trailed 13-0 at intermission.

The Panthers outscored the Hawks 10-0 during the second half.

"We didn't play our best," Barragan said. "We beat ourselves by making mistakes."

Central Valley will face must-win scenarios during the final two weeks of the season.

The Hawks will secure their third straight playoff berth under coach Scott Edwards' guidance with victories over Patterson (7-1, 3-0) and Ceres High (3-5, 0-3).

"We still have a shot," Barragan said.

Heavily-favored Patterson will play host to Central Valley this Friday at 7 p.m.

The Hawks topped the Tigers 21-7 last season.

"I knew Patterson was going to be a great team this year," Barragan said. "It's going to be a challenge for us to get the W. Their quarterback is pretty good. He knows how to control the game. They have a lot of weapons. They play as a unit. We're going to fight all four quarters."