Central Valley High School’s football team endured a major letdown a week after suffering a gut-wrenching 21-20 loss to crosstown-rival Ceres High.
The shorthanded Hawks failed to recover from a sluggish start in falling 31-6 to the host Enochs Eagles on Friday at Johansen High School. The temperature at kickoff was 93 degrees.
“In my opinion, people were still down about the Ceres game,” Central Valley junior quarterback Darrius Jackson said. “The energy level was really low.”
“We’re proud of the way we played against Ceres High,” Hawks’ linebacker/kicker Luis Munoz said. “We just didn’t execute to the manner we wanted to today. They were physical.”
Central Valley’s new-look offense totaled just 145 yards versus Enochs.
“With the heat all week long, we only got one practice (outside),” Hawks’ head coach Derrick Goblirsch said. “With a new quarterback trying to learn the system, it’s tough to be comfortable in that situation. Darrius was put in a tough spot. We tried to keep it simple and hoped our defense would keep us in the game. We couldn’t get stops. Penalties added up. We just didn’t play well. Darrius definitely adds a different element to our team. He’s going to get better.”
Jackson completed 6 of 17 passes for 64 yards with one touchdown while making his first start at quarterback in place of Mario Gonzalez, who was sidelined with a broken left collarbone sustained against Ceres High. Jackson rushed for a team-high 60 yards on 13 carries.
Anthony Ramirez had a 32-yard TD reception.
Elijah Jackson caught two passes for 20 yards.
Jayson Casias totaled 14 yards on two catches.
“Going into the game, I felt a little pressure,” Darrius Jackson said. “It was my first start. I was nervous. I believe I could have done better. I didn’t get to take a lot of reps at practice because of the heat. They canceled practice. If I take more snaps, I’ll feel a lot more comfortable. I want to show the coaches what I can do for the team.”
The Hawks struggled mightily in the first half.
Central Valley trailed 28-0 through the opening 24 minutes of play.
“It wasn’t the best start. The effort and energy was just not there. We’re disappointed in ourselves. We expected more from our defense.”Hawks’ linebacker/kicker Luis Munoz
“It wasn’t the best start,” Munoz said. “The effort and energy was just not there. We’re disappointed in ourselves. We expected more from our defense.”
“When you’re playing from behind, that changes your game plan,” Goblirsch added.
The Hawks outscored the Eagles 6-3 after intermission.
Darrius Jackson tossed a 32-yard touchdown pass to Ramirez during Central Valley’s first possession of the third quarter.
“We outplayed them in the second half,” Goblirsch said. “We wanted to do that earlier in the game. We never found a rhythm on offense. We had a ton of penalties.”
Central Valley’s defense played shorthanded against Enochs.
Hawk linebacker Josh Hale did not play due to illness. He had 24 tackles, two sacks, one forced fumble and one pass deflection through Central Valley’s first three games.
Darrius Jackson, who normally starts at safety, contributed on just offense.
Central Valley compiled a 1-3 record during the preseason. The Hawks could have won three of their first four games.
Central Valley had three possessions stall in the red zone and two turnovers in a 26-7 loss to Pitman.
The Hawks committed three turnovers and lost Gonzalez to a shoulder injury in a one-point setback while battling Ceres High.
“It’s definitely not where we want to be at this point,” Goblirsch said. “We want to keep getting better as the season goes on.”
“I still feel we can win games,” Munoz added.
Central Valley will open Central California Conference play next week.
The Hawks will play host to the Buhach Colony Thunder at CUSD Stadium.
Kickoff slated for 7 p.m.