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Hawks rally for 18-17 win over Panthers
• Munoz kicks 32-yard field goal in fourth quarter to propel CV past Pacheco
Felix Arellano Luis Munoz and Elijah Jackson
Felix Arellano, Luis Munoz and Elijah Jackson helped Central Valley’s football team secure its first victory of the 2022 season.

Central Valley High School’s football team topped Pacheco in thrilling fashion last week.

Luis Munoz booted a 32-yard go-ahead field goal with 3:54 to play as the Hawks rallied from a 14-0 first-quarter deficit en route to posting an 18-17 win against the visiting Panthers Friday evening at CUSD Stadium.

“A game situation is way different than practice,” he said. “My adrenaline was pumping like crazy. It went through the roof. As soon as I kicked it, I knew it was going in. It had the height and length. It’s one of the best kicks I’ve ever had. The whole crowd erupted. It was loud. It felt like a movie.”

Central Valley teammates Uriel Mendoza (long snapper) and Diego Delahoya (placeholder) both played a role in helping Munoz make his first career, field-goal attempt.

“It was perfect execution,” he said. “They gave me time.”

Munoz was forced to cut his pregame routine short.

“I only got one practice attempt before the game,” he said. “Usually, I get four to six attempts. The referees didn’t want any players on the field, which never happens.”

“I’m very proud of him,” Hawks’ tight end/defensive lineman Elijah Jackson said. “We held our ground, blocked for him and he made the field goal.”

“We were all confident he was going to make it,” Central Valley running back/linebacker Felix Arellano said.

The Hawks improved to 1-1 on the season.

The Panthers dropped to 0-1.

Central Valley quarterback Mario Gonzalez completed 62 percent of his pass attempts (18-of-29) for 208 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

Jayson Casias led the Hawks in receiving with eight catches, 149 yards and one touchdown.

Elijah Jackson gained 11 yards and scored one touchdown on two carries.

Munoz, Anthony Ramirez, Joshua Hale, Josiah Sandoval, Darrius Jackson, Tristan Villicana and Anthony Malagon and David Lemus led the way on defense.

Munoz had 10 tackles and one fumble recovery.

Ramirez had 12 tackles, one interception and one pass deflection. He has four interceptions through the Hawks’ first two games.

Hale had 10 tackles and one forced fumble.

Sandoval had nine tackles and one interception.

Darrius Jackson had nine tackles.

Villicana had eight tackles.

Malagon registered six tackles and blocked one punt.

Lemus chipped in with four tackles and one fumble recovery.

Central Valley trailed 14-2 at halftime.

Elijah Jackson’s 4-yard rushing TD and Munoz’s point-after kick cut the deficit to five points (14-9) with 10:30 left in the third quarter. The Hawks capitalized after Sandoval intercepted a pass at Pacheco’s 12-yard line.

Down 17-9, Gonzalez connected with Casias on an 85-yard scoring play to bring Central Valley within two points (17-15) at the 7:22 mark of the final period.

Lewis helped set up Munoz’s go-ahead field goal attempt with a fumble recovery at the Panthers’ 34-yard line.

“We never gave up,” Elijah Jackson said. “We kept fighting.”

“We really needed to win this game,” Munoz said. “We conditioned hard at practice and weren’t tired at the end.”

Pacheco had a chance to win the game late in the fourth quarter.

Hawk fans rushed the field as the Panthers botched a 21-yard field-goal attempt as time expired.

“We called a timeout to ice the kicker,” Elijah Jackson said. “We put a lot of pressure on him. He didn’t get a clean kick off.”