Ahead by 14 points early in the fourth quarter, Central Valley’s varsity football team lost focus and paid the ultimate price.
Visiting Enochs scored two touchdowns in the final 19 seconds to stun the Hawks 28-22 Friday night at Bulldog Stadium.
Ben Harless’ 20-yard TD strike to Kameron Myers as time expired broke a 22-all tie.
“A lack of composure turned into a fear of failure. That fear was realized.”Coach Scott Edwards
“We got into a situation where we were playing not to lose,” Central Valley head coach Scott Edwards said. “A lack of composure turned into a fear of failure. That fear was realized.”
Central Valley dropped to 1-3 overall.
Enochs improved to 2-2 on the season.
“It’s disheartening,” Edwards said. “We could be 3-1.”
The Hawks lost despite racking up 369 yards and 12 first downs on offense.
“Our offense was pretty clean,” Edwards said.
Junior quarterback Andrew Hernandez completed 16 of 18 passes for 216 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions.
“He’s an effective quarterback for us,” Edwards said. “He trusts himself and his teammates.”
Sophomore running back Isaiah Hidalgo amassed 283 all-purpose yards with two TDS.
Hidalgo ran for 106 yards and one touchdown on 12 carries.
He caught five passes for 95 yards and one score.
“He had a great night,” Edwards said. “He can do a lot more if we help him out.”
Ryan Palecek gained 47 yards and scored one touchdown on five carries. He totaled 10 yards on two receptions.
Erick Martinez, Dylan Kong and Daniel Ward contributed 65, 34 and 11 yard receiving, respectively.
Tony Gaut and David Martinez led Central Valley’s defense with 10 tackles apiece.
Ward had seven tackles and one forced fumble.
Elias Jimenez had two tackles and one fumble recovery.
Xavier Alvarez had two tackles and one interception.
Central Valley and Enochs were engaged in a defensive battle in the opening half.
Hidalgo and Hernandez accounted for the lone touchdown.
Andrew’s 43-yard TD pass to Isaiah and Alejandro Alvarez’s point-after kick gave the Hawks a 7-0 lead with 11:21 to play in the first quarter.
The Hawks and Eagles traded scores in the third quarter.
Palecek’s 4-yard TD run and Hernandez’s 2-point conversion put Central Valley ahead by seven points at the 7:22 mark.
Ahead 22-15, Central Valley was in position to extend its lead to 13 before Hidalgo fumbled at Enochs’ 5-yard line.
Isaiah’s 53-yard TD scamper and Alvarez’s second PAT had given the Hawks a 14-point lead with 11:15 to play.
Enochs stunned Central Valley by scoring three touchdowns in the final eight minutes.
“We didn’t do what was discussed,” Edwards said while talking about his team’s fourth-quarter collapse. “We didn’t execute. Our defense didn’t trust its assignments. Too many players on our roster checked out. We had guys dancing on the sideline and looking into the stands. We lost focus. Hopefully, if we find ourselves in these positions again, we’ll capitalize.”
“Everybody is upset with how the game played out,” Hidalgo said. “It was shocking because we were outplaying them. It was a good game until the fourth quarter.”
Tied at 22-all, Enochs recovered an onside kick with 18 seconds left in regulation.
Harless and Meyers combined for the winning score with no time left on the clock.
“It all happened so quick in a little amount of time,” Hidalgo said. “Watching it was hurting my gut. It was unbelievable.”
“Momentum was on their side,” Edwards said. “My thought process was they’d squib it and we’d go into overtime. They played to win. Hats off to them.”
Central Valley will begin Central California Conference play this Friday.
“We have a tough road ahead,” Edwards said.
The Hawks will compete against the undefeated Merced Bears (4-0) at Ceres High.
The contest will get underway at 7 p.m.
“They’re really good,” Edwards said. “They’re scoring a lot of points. They’re built to win a section title.”
“We’re going to have to execute with very minimal mistakes and play hard until the clock reads zero,” Hidalgo said.