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Seahawks top Packers
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The Ceres Seahawks were far from perfect during their Cen-Cal Jr. League opener.

The varsity youth football team rallied from an early deficit to defeat the Hilmar Packers 24-11 on Saturday at Central Valley High School.

"It was frustrating because we couldn't run anything in the first half," head coach Joe Borba said. "It looked like it was the first day of practice. I think it was first-game jitters. They didn't do their assignments. Finally, they got aggressive. This is a talented team. They work hard."

JaQuan Gardner rushed for two touchdowns, Gabriel Solis threw a TD pass to Terry Brogdon, and Coty Harris returned a kickoff for a score to lead the Seahawks.

Harris' 80-yard touchdown on a broken play gave the Seahawks some much-needed momentum going into halftime.

"That was huge," said Borba, whose team trailed 11-6 at the break.

The Seahawks outscored the Packers 18-0 after intermission.

"We looked like a completely different team in the second half," Borba said.

Solis and Brogdon hooked up for a 68-yard TD in the third quarter.

"We ran that play before and the ball bounced off his chest," Borba said.

Trailing 12-11, Hilmar turned the ball over on downs at the Seahawks' 23-yard line. Ceres linebacker Milton Uti led the way on defense with three tackles and one sack.

The Seahawks put the game out of reach when Gardner scored on runs of 77 and 47 yards in the fourth quarter.

"He's not a big kid but he's tough," Borba said. "He's got really good balance. There's things that he does on the field you can't coach. He relies on instinct."

Ceres will travel to Merced High School this Saturday to face the Bears. The contest will get underway at 3 p.m.