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Recharged, motivated CV returns to gridiron following bye week
Central Valley High School's varsity football team came agonizingly close to knocking off tradition-rich Patterson on Sept. 29.

The Tigers rallied late and held on for a 21-20 victory.

"It showed us what our weaknesses are," Hawks senior quarterback Abraham Navarro said while talking about the Hawks' gut-wrenching loss. "We need to execute better on offense. Our defense is solid."

Central Valley, 4-2 overall and 1-1 in the Western Athletic Conference, had two weeks to prepare for its next opponent thanks to a bye.

Pacheco (4-3, 2-1) will play host to the Hawks this Friday at 7 p.m.

The Panthers will be led by sophomore tailback Kalama Kamoku (613 yards and seven touchdowns).

The Panthers lost 55-15 to first-place Central Catholic (5-1, 3-0) last week.

"We're not taking them lightly," Navarro said. "They're good. We got to play our A game."

Central Valley will rely heavily on star running back Ja'Quan Gardner. The junior surpassed the 1,000-yard barrier last week. Gardner rushed for 1,985 yards and 25 touchdowns, both school records, at the varsity level as a sophomore.

All-purpose standout Angelo Bermudez, and receivers Kenny Lopez and Milton Uti will be counted upon as well.

Kendel Johnson, a transfer from Beyer, will make his debut with the Hawks. He'll contribute at receiver and safety. Johnson played quarterback for the Patriots' JV football team in 2011.

"It's a luxury having all of those weapons," Navarro said. "He (Johnson) has pretty good hands and he can jump pretty high."

Led by linebacker Benjamin Anitelea, defensive end/linebacker Milton Uti, and linemen Nick Van Tuinen and Marcus Rodriguez, Central Valley's defense has yielded just 92 points in six games.

The Hawks have never qualified for the playoffs.

Central Valley needs to win two of its last four games to accomplish that feat.

Central Valley's final three opponents are Los Banos, Central Catholic and Ceres High.

Central Catholic (5-2, 3-0) and Los Banos (5-1, 1-1) had a combined record of 10-3 as of Tuesday.

The crosstown Bulldogs (2-5, 0-3) have yet to win a league game.

"We all have the same attitude," Navarro said. "We're not afraid of anybody."

"We have a good team," McCloskey added. "But we're not great yet. We got to get better. Our goal is to win out. It's going to be tough."