The grind of playing in the Central California Conference has taken a physical toll on Central Valley High School’s football program.
The injury-depleted Hawks had just 24 players in uniform during Friday’s 56-14 loss to the host Merced Bears.
“It’s tough,” head coach Derrick Goblirsch said. “Injuries have been starting to pile up. That happens in the CCC because everybody is so big and strong. Even with a full roster, we have to play near-perfect just to compete in this league.”
Three of Central Valley’s starting offensive linemen were inactive for last week’s conference game, including left tackle Andrue Olivas, left guard Garret Garcia and right tackle Josh Ludwig.
Kicker/linebacker Luis Munoz and backup kicker Emmanuel Villalon were also sidelined.
Running back/linebacker Felix Arellano did not play for an unspecified reason.
Quarterback Darrius Jackson and slot receiver/linebacker Anthony Ramirez exited the contest in the third and second quarters, respectively, after getting hurt.
Ricardo Perez, Jossue Ruiz and Leonardo Monroy started in place of Olivas, Garcia and Ludwig.
Backup Matthew Cowgill rotated in at guard and tackle.
Josiah Sandoval, David Lewis and Diego Delahoya shared kicking duties.
Delahoya and Elijah “Booty” Jackson played quarterback.
Daniel Mendoza and Julian Alvarez split playing time at slot receiver.
Juan Alonzo and Uriel Mendoza contributed at linebacker.
“I thought they did a great job,” Goblirsch said while praising his replacement players. “The effort was there.”
Central Valley’s revamped offense gained 262 total yards.
Darrius Jackson completed 11 of 20 passes for 125 yards with one touchdown and one interception. He carried the ball 20 times for 74 yards.
Booty Jackson gained 45 yards and scored one touchdown on 12 carries. He finished 1-for-5 passing with 5 yards.
Ramirez caught two passes for 67 yards and one touchdown.
Jayson Casias had 34 yards on three receptions.
Delahoya totaled 16 yards on four catches. He was 0-for-5 passing.
“The guys on the offensive line didn’t have a lot of game reps,” Goblirsch said. “We tried not to get too creative. We ran our basic stuff.”
The Hawks kept the game close for most of the first half.
Central Valley trailed 35-14 at the break.
Elijah Jackson scored on a 2-yard run and Ramirez hauled in a 52-yard touchdown pass from Darrius Jackson.
Elijah Jackson’s TD cut the deficit to 14-6 early in the second quarter.
The Hawks faced a 28-14 deficit after Ramirez and Darrius Jackson combined for a score with 2:05 to play in the opening half.
Merced scored 14 of its 35 points off a pair of Hawk turnovers.
“Minus those two plays on offense, I thought we played really well,” Goblirsch said. “We were very competitive. It should have been a one-score game at halftime.”
Central Valley dropped to 2-7 overall and 1-4 in the CCC standings.
Merced improved to 5-4 and 4-1.
The Hawks were awarded their first league win of the season last week. Buhach Colony had to forfeit its 42-21 victory over Central Valley on Sept. 23 for using an ineligible player.
“Our message for the guys is always the same—play with great effort and do your job,” Goblirsch said.
Central Valley will close out the 2022 season this Friday at El Capitan (0-9, 0-5).
“We want to get a win and send our seniors off with a good feeling,” Goblirsch said.
Central Valley’s and Ceres High’s girls tennis team closed out the regular-season conference portion of their schedules last week.
The Hawks were beaten by Central California Conference opponents Merced and Golden Valley.
Central Valley won a pair of doubles matches during its 7-2 loss to Golden Valley on Oct. 18 in Ceres.
Marlene Jaquez and Aleena Higle prevailed 6-7 (1-7), 6-2, 10-7 at No. 2 doubles.
Jasleen Kaur and Giselle Mendez prevailed 6-1, 7-6 (7-4) at No. 3 doubles.
Alondra Robles and Analy Gomez lost 6-4, 4-6, 7-4 at No. 1 doubles.
Lesly Rivas lost 6-1, 6-0 at No. 1 singles.
Samantha Perez-Mendez lost 6-2, 6-4 at No. 2 singles.
Kaitlyn Teng lost 6-0, 6-3 at No. 3 singles.
Lliria Lira lost 4-6, 6-2, 7-6 (7-5) at No. 4 singles.
Lizeth Cazarez lost 6-3, 6-3 at No. 5 singles.
Lliana Guzman lost 6-2, 7-6 (7-4) at No. 6 singles.
Host Merced shut out Central Valley 9-0 on Thursday.
The Hawks dropped all three singles and six doubles matches versus the Bears.
Rivas lost 6-0, 6-0 at No. 1 singles.
Perez-Mendez lost 6-2, 6-0 at No. 2 singles.
Lira lost 6-3, 6-1 at No. 3 singles.
Cazarez lost 6-1, 6-1 at No. 4 singles.
Guzman lost 6-3, 6-2 at No. 5 singles.
Robles lost 6-0, 6-1 at No. 6 singles.
Gomez and Jaquez lost 6-1, 6-4 at No. 1 doubles.
Mendez and Kaur lost 6-4, 6-3 at No. 2 doubles.
Higle and Brianna Olson lost 6-4, 6-1 at No. 3 doubles.
Central Valley (5-9) finished fifth overall in the CCC standings ahead of El Capitan (4-10), Golden Valley (4-10) and Livingston (0-14).
Merced (13-1), Patterson (12-2), Atwater (11-3) and Buhach Colony (7-7) placed first, second, third and fourth, respectively.
Grace Davis and Mountain House topped Ceres High in Western Athletic Conference play.
The host Bulldogs suffered a 6-3 loss while battling Grace Davis on Oct. 21.
The Spartans avenged a 7-2 setback.
Ceres High won all three doubles matches during the rematch.
Monica Cendejas and Zainab Nazir prevailed 6-1, 6-1 at No. 1 doubles.
Nerisha Singh and Izabella Jaquez prevailed 6-3, 6-4 at No. 2 doubles.
Diana Sanchez and Bianca Camorlinga prevailed 6-2, 6-2 at No. 3 doubles.
Grace Davis swept all six singles matches.
Gurleen Kaur lost 6-2, 6-2 at No. 1 singles.
Alexa Sandoval lost 6-4, 6-4 at No. 2 singles.
Yasmin Pinedo-Lopez lost 6-2, 6-1 at No. 3 singles.
Jelaine Esguerra lost 6-4, 6-3 at No. 4 singles.
Jillian Mande lost 6-4, 7-6 (9-7) at No. 5 singles.
Maria Garcia lost at No. 6 singles. She defaulted after winning the first set, 6-4.
Ceres High fell 9-0 while playing host to Mountain House on Oct. 17.
Kaur lost 6-0, 6-0 at No. 1 singles.
Sandoval lost 6-1, 6-2 at No. 2 singles.
Pinedo-Lopez lost 6-0, 6-0 at No. 3 singles.
Esguerra lost 6-0, 6-0 at No. 4 singles.
Mande lost 6-1, 6-0 at No. 5 singles.
Garcia lost 6-1, 6-0 at No. 6 singles.
Cendejas and Camila Orellana lost 6-1, 6-1 at No. 1 doubles.
Nazir and Izabella Gutierrez lost 6-0, 6-1 at No. 2 doubles.
Singh and Jaquez lost 6-0, 6-2 at No. 3 doubles.
Ceres High (1-13) tied for last place in the WAC standings with Grace Davis.