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Hawks prevail
46-14 thrashing of host Madera South
The Hawks won three of four preseason games under second-year head coach Jason McCloskeys guidance. - photo by DALE BUTLER/The Courier

Central Valley High School varsity football head coach Jason McCloskey had little to complain about following Friday's 46-14 thrashing of host Madera South.

The roundtrip bus ride to Memorial Stadium covered 138 miles and lasted three hours.

"It would have stunk if we lost," McCloskey said. "It was a good night for everybody. I'm really proud of them."

The Hawks improved to 3-1 on the year.

The Stallions dropped to 0-3.

"We're beating teams we're supposed to beat," McCloskey said. "We haven't had a signature victory yet. We want to make it happen sooner than later."

Central Valley relied on its three-headed monster last week.

Quarterback Kendel Johnson passed for 63 yards and one touchdown with no picks. He also ran for 66 yards and one TD on six carries.

Johnson racked up 849 yards of total offense with 12 touchdowns and no interceptions through the Hawks' first four games.

"We knew the potential was there to be that lethal," McCloskey said. "He's only going to get better."

Ja'Quan Gardner, the Sac-Joaquin Section's third-best running back, rumbled for 200 yards and one touchdown on 18 carries.
Gardner went 52 yards for a TD on the Hawks' first offensive play.

Ja'Quan has gained 682 yards and scored six times this year.

Junior all-purpose player Angelo Bermudez rushed for 71 yards and one touchdown on five carries. He also returned a punt 80 yards for a TD late in the first half.

Bermudez has scored eight touchdowns this year, including five receiving and two rushing.

Hawk teammates Raul Godinez, Ben Anitelea and Kenneth Padilla contributed as well this past week.

Godinez had 41 rushing yards and one TD on three carries.

Anitelea added 26 yards and one TD on the ground.

Padilla caught a 12-yard TD pass from Johnson.

Central Valley scored the first 20 points of the game on its way to building a 27-6 lead in the opening half.

"We prepared really well for them," McCloskey said. "We had a good game plan. Defensively, we came up big. Offensively, we've been doing what we've been doing all year. We established our ground game early and were able to do whatever we wanted after that. Overall, another good performance for us. We want to keep winning games and getting better."

Central Valley, 5-5 a year ago, won four of its first five games and appeared to be headed toward its first playoff appearance in 2012. The Hawks closed out the year with a 1-4 finish and fell one victory shy of making history. Pacheco edged out Central Valley for the final postseason berth in the Division-III bracket.

"We were in this position last year," McCloskey said. "We need to amp it up. We're going to start off with tough competition right away. We got to beat a team like Pacheco for our program to get to that next level. We want to make the playoffs. We need to keep working hard to reach our goal."

Pacheco (3-1) will try to spoil Central Valley's homecoming this Friday at Bulldog Stadium. The WAC opener will get underway at 7 p.m.

The Panthers defeated the Hawks 30-20 last season.

"They're a way better team this year," McCloskey said. "We're going to have to play fast and be physical. It's going to be a battle."