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Varsity Hawks almost upset state-ranked Buffs
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Central Valley High School's varsity football team found itself in another tight game. And for the fourth time this season, the Hawks watched their opponent come through in the clutch.

On Friday night, Adrian Fuentes booted a 20-yard field goal with 8 seconds remaining to lift heavily-favored Manteca to a 17-14 victory over the Hawks at Guss Schmeidt Field.

"This one's the most difficult to swallow because we were in control," Central Valley coach Tim Garcia said.

Added Hawks lineman Sean McLeod: "It (winning) would have meant a lot."

Central Valley, which dropped to 1-6 in the Valley Oak League, almost knocked off state-ranked Manteca. With the win, the No. 3 Buffaloes improved to 6-1 in conference play.

"It's a very big confidence booster for our kids," Garcia said. "We earned some respect from a very well-established program. We matched their physicalness."

Hawks running back Joaquin Casas gained 100 yards and scored one touchdown on 18 carries.

Trevor Mew completed 12 of 18 passes for 78 yards with one score and no interceptions.

Gerald Garcia made five receptions for 34 yards and a TD.

The Hawks broke a 7-7 tie when Mew tossed a 9-yard TD pass to Garcia in the third quarter. Casas set up the score with a 69-yard run.

The Buffaloes knotted the score at 14-all in fourth quarter on Doug Hayes' 26-yard strike to Toby Fox.

The game-winning kick came one minute after the Central Valley turned the ball over on downs at the Buffaloes' 35-yard line. Mew came up short on a quarterback sneak attempt on fourth-and-1, denying the Hawks a chance to run out the clock.

Hayes directed the drive that covered 62 yards with help from his offensive line, running backs and receivers. Johnnie Golden broke loose for a 20-yard run on the very first play from scrimmage. Doug completed three passes in a row to set up Fuentes.

Central Valley led 7-0 at the break as Casas bulled his way into the end zone from the 1-yard line in the first quarter.

Manteca's first possession of the second half resulted in a game-tying touchdown. Golden scored on a 9-yard run. The 60-yard drive took more than six minutes off the clock.

"Everybody thought we were going to get blown out," McLeod said. "We knew we had nothing to lose. We left it all on the field and it showed."

"It was a moral victory," coach Garcia said. "That's for sure."

The Hawks (2-7) were knocked out of the playoff picture thanks to a 40-39 loss to Weston Ranch in overtime on Oct. 26.

Central Valley lost by a combined 15 points to Chavez (27-21), Sierra (34-28) and Manteca (17-14). Those contests were decided in the fourth quarter.

"We've been in so many close games," coach Garcia said.

Added McLeod: "It's frustrating for everybody, especially the seniors."

Junior Varsity

Central Valley's failure to execute resulted in a 42-6 road loss to Manteca on Friday.

"We just didn't play well," Hawks coach Pat Leach said. "We had six turnovers."

Central Valley trailed by just eight points, 14-6, early in the second quarter. Alex Casas scored on a 5-yard run, set up by Dayjohn Sallie's 70-yard scamper.

The fifth-place Hawks (1-5) will close out their 2007 season against Ceres High (1-5) this Thursday at Bulldog Stadium. The game will begin at 5 p.m. The losing team will drop into a tie for last place with East Union. "I have no idea how we're going to play," Leach said. "One week, we look great. The next week, we don't. I just got to prepare them for this game and hope for the best."