The Ceres Classic perpetual trophy will remain on Central Valley High School’s campus for another year.
The Hawks opened the 2019 campaign with a 55-13 win over the crosstown-rival Bulldogs Friday evening at CUSD Stadium.
“It’s a lot easier seeing your kids happy, holding up the trophy and taking pics with their families,” said Central Valley head coach Scott Edwards, whose program has won five of six meetings versus Ceres High under his guidance. “I’ve been on the other side before.”
The Hawks improved their head-to-head record versus the Bulldogs to 12-2.
“It’s become a tradition and expectation,” Central Valley receiver Erick Martinez-Stucchi said. “We have to beat Ceres High.”
“I thought we were ready for the crosstown showdown,” Ceres High receiver Fernando Sosa said. “We wanted to put on a show. Sometimes things don’t go as planned.”
“It feels good to please the fans and school,” Hawks’ quarterback Andrew Hernandez said.
Ceres High had trouble slowing down Central Valley’s balanced offensive attack.
“The night was very positive,” Edwards said. “We executed at a high level. Plays were being made in all three phases.”
The Hawks racked up 515 yards of total offense against the Bulldogs.
Central Valley had 310 rushing yards on 40 attempts.
Junior Isaiah Hidalgo rushed for a career-high 205 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries.
He also returned a punt 60 yards for a score.
Hernandez completed 17 of 22 passes for 254 yards and two touchdowns.
He also ran for 30 yards and one TD on six carries.
Chris Simental ran for 55 yards and two TDs on six carries.
Martinez-Stucchi caught four passes for 50 yards and one touchdown.
Dylan Kong hauled in four passes for 43 yards and one TD.
Indy Hothi totaled 65 yards on three receptions.
Simental grabbed three passes for 64 yards.
Alexys Jimenez made 7 of 8 point-after kicks.
Ceres High sophomore quarterback Bryce Piatt completed 11 of 22 passes for 119 yards with two touchdowns and one interception.
Sosa had a 36-yard touchdown reception.
Aaron Delgado caught three passes for 19 yards and one TD.
Montrell Block, a junior transfer from Weston Ranch, rushed for 64 yards on 16 carries.
Sophomore Verlis Smith led the Bulldogs in receiving as he totaled 58 yards on five catches.
Ceres High outscored Central Valley 28-7 during the opening half.
“Our team made a lot of mental errors. That’s on me for not getting the players prepared enough.”CHS Coach Matt Chachere
“Our team made a lot of mental errors,” said Matt Chachere, second-year head coach of the Bulldogs. “That’s on me for not getting the players prepared enough.”
“We played well as a team,” Hernandez said. “We executed. Everybody contributed, too.”
Central Valley beat Ceres High for the fifth year in a row.
“For us seniors, it’s our final time playing Ceres High,” Martinez-Stucchi said. “It meant a lot to lift that trophy.”
“It’s heartbreaking especially for us seniors,” Sosa said. “We wanted to be out there celebrating instead of them.”
The Hawks topped the Bulldogs 35-0 in 2018, 35-33 in 2017, 52-10 in 2016 and 48-14 in 2015.
Ceres High won the inaugural showdown in 2006 (20-7) and eliminated Central Valley from playoff consideration in 2014 (24-7).
“We want to get it back to a competitive game where we have a shot to win it,” Chachere said.
Central Valley will host Sierra (1-0) this Friday at 7 p.m.
Visiting Ceres High will play Lodi (0-0).
“Sierra is always a physical team on both sides of the ball,” Edwards said. “They’re good at what they do.”
“You lose one game, it doesn’t mean you can’t go to playoffs or win a conference title,” Chachere said. “The goals are still there.”
“It’s on us if we want to move on from this loss,” Sosa said. “We have to have a positive mindset as a team.”