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JV Hawks win league title
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Gerald Garcia jumped into the waiting arms of Tony Marques. Within moments, their teammates and coaches joined in the celebration.

Garcia's 30-yard interception return proved to be the difference in the Central Valley High JV football team's 21-20 title-clinching victory over Whitney High School Thursday night in Ceres.

“I was doing my assignment,” Garcia said. “He passed it. And I just got it.

“It feels great. This is my first-ever championship.”

Added Hawks coach Tim Garcia: “It shouldn't have been this close.”

Central Valley survived a fourth-quarter defensive meltdown.

Down 21-6, William Olson threw two touchdown passes to Jake Snyder in the span of 38 seconds to pull the Wildcats within one point with 4:16 remaining.

Their first score came after Garcia's defensive touchdown. Whitney marched 66 yards in six plays. Olson capped the drive with a 6-yard strike to Snyder.

Their second score came after Whitney recovered an onside kick at the Central Valley 48. Olson hit Snyder for a 19-yard touchdown pass.

“There was a lot of pressure on us,” Gerald said.

The Hawks were forced to punt with less than two minutes remaining.

The Wildcats' potential game-winning drive stalled at the Central Valley 29. Whitney turned the ball over to the Hawks with less than 20 seconds left in regulation. Olson spiked the ball to stop the clock on fourth down, which he believed was third.

“We showed this town what Central Valley is all about,” Gerald said. “We played hard.”

Marcus Tyson's 5-yard touchdown run put Central Valley ahead 13-6 with 8:09 remaining in the third quarter. The score was set up by Tyson's 55-yard opening kickoff return.

The Hawks failed to extend their lead to 24-6 early in the fourth quarter. They marched 55 yards in 10 plays. Mew's 22-yard field-goal attempt fell short of the crossbar at the 8:21 mark.

Central Valley led 7-6 at the break. Freshman quarterback Trevor Mew threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Marques with 3:03 remaining in the first quarter. The score was set up by Garcia's 40-yard punt return.

“I try to do everything I can for this team,” Gerald said.

Whitney High responded on its subsequent possession. Snyder had a 70-yard catch-and-run touchdown on the Wildcats' second play from scrimmage.

Central Valley gained 237 yards of total offense.

Mew completed 10 of 14 passes for 130 yards and one touchdown. Marques had four catches for 54 yards. Garcia and Arnold Hodge both had three catches for 38 yards.

Tyson ran for 82 yards on 13 carries and scored once.

Whitney gained 297 yards of total offense, including 176 rushing on 24 carries and 121 passing on eight completions.

The Hawks have one game left on their schedule. Ripon Christian plays host to Central Valley this Saturday. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. - By DALE BUTLER / Staff reporter of the Ceres (Calif.) Courier