All eyes were fixed on Central Valley High School senior dual-threat quarterback Kendel Johnson when he delivered a passionate postgame speech following Friday's 56-26 non-conference blowout of 2012 Sac-Joaquin Section Division-VI champion Brookside Christian at Bulldog Stadium.
"How does it feel to get this ‘W' guys?" Johnson asked. "Lets take this momentum into the next game. Listen up. I came to this school and I love it. I love all of you guys. I wouldn't trade you guys for anybody in the world. We're going to do this all year. Y'all better get used to it."
Kendel won last week's game for Central Valley (1-1) with his brain, arm and legs.
He completed 5 of 11 passes for 109 yards and three touchdowns.
He rushed for 119 yards and two scores on eight carries.
He would have accounted for seven TDs, but two dropped passes in open space prevented that from happening.
Johnson made two tackles and broke up one pass while contributing at cornerback.
He punted three times for 110 yards. "Kendel was one of the big reasons why we won tonight," Central Valley head coach Jason McCloskey said. "He did outstanding. He showed a lot of touch on his passes. He ran really hard. He was electrifying."
"I'm very pleased with how I did," said Johnson, who was quick to give credit to his football family. "The linemen stepped up. The whole team backed me up. I'm just glad to be a part of this team."
Ja'Quan Gardner, Central Valley's star running back, rumbled for 226 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries. He caught a 26-yard pass. Gardner also intercepted one pass on defense.
"He's so physical this year," McCloskey said. "His breakaway speed is amazing. He's running with a purpose."
Junior all-purpose player Angelo Bermudez rushed for 66 yards and one TD on eight carries.
He totaled 33 yards and one score on two receptions.
Milton Uti and Christian Romo both had one TD catch.
Central Valley racked up eight touchdowns, 11 first downs and 520 yards of total offense.
"We did some good things on offense-very explosive," McCloskey said. "If they (opposing teams) want to come up in the box, we could throw it. If they want to back up, we'll run it. Our offense is getting better and better. It's going to be lethal by the time we get to the WAC."
Brookside Christian (0-1) earned Central Valley's respect.
The Knights piled up 15 first downs and 345 yards of offense versus the Hawks.
Austin Caldron completed 17 of 31 passes for 241 yards with two touchdowns and two picks.
Cameron Chew ran for 55 yards and two touchdowns on eight attempts.
Edrico Oliver Jr. caught five passes for 65 yards and one TD.
Lee Johnson hauled in a 34-yard touchdown pass.
Javier Rodriguez chipped in with a 57-yard catch and 10-yard run.
"It was a track meet," McCloskey said. "Those guys are good at what they do. They're way down Division-wise, but they got some talent over there. You saw some good athletes. You ain't going to see anybody in the WAC as fast as 13 unless he's in our uniform. You ain't going to see a taller receiver that can catch like 18 or a guy that's as smooth as 83. My guys did a great job covering him; a great job all night."
Ahead 28-12, Brookside Christian cut the deficit to two in the third quarter with back-to-back touchdowns. Johnson's 55-yard scamper and Alvaro Rodriguez's fifth point-after kick gave Central Valley a 35-26 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
The Hawks outscored the Knights 21-0 in final period.
Gardner scored on a 1-yard run, Johnson delivered a 13-yard strike to Romo, and Bermudez added an 11-yard rushing TD.
Central Valley reeled off 28 straight points to put the game out of reach.
The Hawks led 21-12 at halftime.
Gardner raced 64 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter.
Johnson tossed TD passes to Bermudez (29 yards) and Uti (37 yards) in the second quarter.
Kendel's first rushing score covered 37 yards in the third quarter.
"I expect him (Johnson) to keep putting up numbers in the passing and running game," McCloskey said. "He's a great athlete."
Rodriguez made all eight of his PATs.
Raul Godinez and Anthony Harrison led the Hawks in tackles with eight apiece.
Jose Medina collected seven tackles and one sack.
Ben Anitelea totaled seven tackles.
PJ Singh tallied six tackles and one interception.
Andres Romo registered four tackles, including three behind the line of scrimmage, and one sack.
Milton Uti had two tackles and one sack.
"They kept it close," Johnson said. "I knew we were going to break it open in the end and get the win. Everybody stepped up at the right time. Last game was a minor setback. We couldn't let that happen again. There are great expectations for this team. We can reach all of our goals."
The Hawks dropped their season opener, 47-20, to Manteca on Aug. 30.
"We wanted to prove to ourselves we could play a much better game," McCloskey said. "When we started rolling, it was fun to watch. We ran a fast offense. They ran a fast offense. Everyone's dog-tired."
Central Valley will not underestimate its next opponent. The Hawks will play at 0-2 Johansen this Friday at 7:30 p.m.
"That's not going to happen," McCloskey said. "We're going to take them very serious. We'll respect them and prepare for them. We still have a lot to improve on."