The thought of losing never entered into the minds of Central Valley's varsity football players and coaches.
The Hawks battled back from a two-score deficit with seven unanswered touchdowns en route to closing out the Western Athletic Conference campaign with a 51-10 drubbing of crosstown-rival Ceres High Friday night at Bulldog Stadium.
"We reacted well," Central Valley head coach Scott Edwards said. "There was no panic."
Central Valley made history by finishing the regular season with a near-perfect 9-1 record and capturing its first-ever league title.
The Hawks won all five of their Western Athletic Conference games.
Central Valley secured its third playoff berth in the past four seasons.
"This is what we planned when we were freshmen," Hawks star running back Jonathan Barragan said. "It's special. We've been playing together forever."
The Bulldogs showed marked improvement from last year's two-win season by compiling a 4-6 record and placing fourth in the WAC standings (2-3).
Ceres High fell two victories shy of qualifying for the playoffs for the first time since 2004.
"It's a step in the right direction," Bulldogs standout receiver Marcellus Boykins said. "But it still hurts because we didn't reach the goal we set at the beginning of the year."
Central Valley's experienced-laden defense pestered Ceres High quarterback Chris Lubinsky for most of the night.
Lubinsky, who entered the game with 27 touchdowns and just four interceptions, threw four picks and got sacked five times.
Chris completed 21 of 44 passes for 188 yards and one TD.
Hawk Gabriel Quezada collected two sacks.
Estevan Barragan had eight tackles and one sack.
Oso Fregoso had five tackles and one sack.
Erik Mejia had one sack.
Chase Winchester, Nasson Sanchez, Jacob Guerrero and Adrian Espinoza all had four tackles and one interception.
Bulldog tight end Conner Johnson caught eight passes for 89 yards and one touchdown.
Wyatt Ogden finished with 54 yards on five receptions.
Boykins, the Stanislaus District's pass catcher, was limited to 27 yards on four catches.
Andrew Gibson mustered 27 yards on five attempts.
"I wish I could have done more for my team," Boykins said.
Central Valley piled up a season-high 409 rushing yards versus Ceres High.
The Barragan brothers, Jonathan and Estevan, combined for 248 yards and four touchdowns.
Jonathan totaled 159 yards and two TDs on 15 carries.
Estevan gained 89 yards and scored twice on six carries.
Fullback Gerardo Solorzano rumbled for 108 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries.
Hawk quarterback Willie Soriano ran for 23 yards and one score on six carries.
Soriano completed 3 of 8 passes for 68 yards.
Jonathan Barragan totaled 57 yards on two catches.
Ceres High's Aiden Moore tallied a game-high 10 tackles.
Ogden had eight tackles.
Gibson and Adrian Knights both had seven tackles.
Central Valley kicker Angel Lopez converted six point-after kicks and a 30-yard field goal.
Johnson hauled in a 6-yard TD pass from Lubinsky and Crain booted a 27-yard field goal while helping Ceres High build a 10-0 lead in the opening five minutes of the game.
The Hawks outscored the Hawks 51-0 during the final three quarters.
"They had a good plan and it took me a while to adjust my plan," Edwards said.
"We settled down and executed," Jonathan Barragan said. "We never stopped believing. We weren't scared."
"I knew we'd bounce back," Estevan Barragan said. "We've been in this situation before. We were down 14-0 last year. We relaxed and executed our plays. Everybody did a great job."
Central Valley improved its all-time record against Ceres High to 9-2.
The Hawks have accomplished all of their goals up to this point of the season.
Fourteenth-seeded Central Valley will face No. 3 Antelope (10-0, 7-0 Capital Valley Conference) in the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-II playoffs this Thursday on the road.
Winner of their last eight games, the Hawks will try to secure their first-ever postseason victory.
"We've been discredited all year," Edwards said. "These guys deserve everything we've gotten. It's a great group."
"If you work hard, good things happen," Jonathan Barragan said.
"I knew this team was going to be great," Estevan Barragan said. "We always have each other's backs."