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Los Banos 46, Central Valley 21 in football
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Ja'Quan Gardner energized Central Valley High School varsity football teammates, coaches and fans when he returned a kickoff 89 yards for a score.

The touchdown pulled the Hawks within 13 points of heavily-favored Los Banos late in the first half.

Tommy Wright shifted the momentum back to the Tigers' side with a 46-yard catch-and-run TD just before intermission.

Los Banos widened the gap to 33 in the third period and eased its way to a 46-21 victory against Central Valley Friday night at Bulldog Stadium.

"That team doesn't make mistakes," Hawks junior quarterback Kenny Lopez said. "They're disciplined."

Central Valley dropped to 3-5 overall and 1-3 in the Western Athletic Conference.

The Tigers moved to 7-1 and 4-0.

Gardner managed to rush for 124 yards and one touchdown against a tough Los Banos defense. He scored on an 89-yard run at the 6:29 mark of the fourth quarter.

Lopez tossed a 14-yard touchdown pass to tight end Mark Santos in the final period.

Greg Tripp totaled 68 yards on five receptions.

Los Banos tailback James Sams tallied three rushing touchdowns (2, 38 and 8).

The Tigers outscored the Hawks 33-7 in the middle periods.

Central Valley trailed 7-0 heading into the second quarter. Sams scored on a 2-yard run for Los Banos.

The Hawks moved the ball during their first offensive possession. Central Valley's ninth play, a 47-yard field goal attempt by soccer star Daniel Ochoa, was blocked by Delvonte Moore. The drive started at the Hawks' 26-yard line.

Lopez and Central Valley remained optimistic at intermission despite facing a 20-point deficit.

"We had a whole another half to go," he said. "The game wasn't over. We just didn't take advantage of the opportunities we had. We didn't execute. We'll try to make statement against Central Catholic."

Central Valley will face Central Catholic (6-2, 3-1) on Friday at Bulldog Stadium. The WAC contest will get underway at 7 p.m.

Dawgs confident

Ceres High School's varsity football team was supposed to lose by blowout to Livingston on Oct. 14.

The Bulldogs dominated early and scored twice late to secure a satisfying 37-20 win over the Wolves.

Ceres High (3-5, 2-2) will try to knock off heavily-favored Patterson (6-2, 3-1) this Friday on the road.

Nick Marchy, Patterson's first-year head coach, graduated from Ceres High School in 1997. He was an assistant on Bulldog leader Bret Durossette's staff from 2002-04.

Ceres High's and Patterson's principals also have a connection. Linda and David Stubbs are married. They'll both be at the game.

"Everyone realizes we can compete with Patterson," Bulldogs running back Zach Naylor said. "They're not used to losing. We just need to keep our energy up."

Naylor, George Arroyo, Blake Hurst and James Rice played key roles during Ceres High's upset of Livingston.

Zach tallied 85 yards and three touchdowns on 20 carries.

George gained 62 yards on 12 attempts.

Blake threw for 146 yards and one touchdown.

James caught five passes for 104 yards and one score.

"We had a lot of leaders," Naylor said. "That's something we lacked the previous games."

The Bulldogs will try to generate a similar type of performance against the Tigers this week. "We're going to be looked at as the underdog," Durossette said. "Nobody thought we'd beat Livingston and we did. Our kids will be prepared."