Football playoff hopes on the line for Pacheco

By David Witte / sports@losbanosenterprise.comOctober 12, 2012 

Veterans Memorial Stadium will feature two teams playing for their playoff lives tonight when Pacheco hosts Central Valley.

"I would say we've been playing for our playoff lives since our first game against Ceres," Pacheco coach David Snapp said. "Every game is a playoff game for us."

Pacheco (4-3, 2-1) has its two league wins required for playoff eligibility, but will need at least one win out of its last three games -- Central Valley, Patterson and Los Banos -- to reach 5-5.

"I think they're looking forward to this week," Snapp said. "Central Valley had a lot of press at the beginning of the season about how they're a playoff team. We feel like we should be part of that conversation."

Central Valley (4-2, 1-1) is in the same boat, and comes to town with an explosive running back in the diminutive Ja'Quan Gardner (1,042 yards) and an experienced quarterback in four-year starter Abraham Navarro (41 of 86, 604 yards and 9 TDs). On paper, the two teams look evenly matched.

"They're a good football team, they've got some other weapons -- the quarterback is a nice player," Snapp said. "They run a little different defense. They like to run the bear front and clog up your ability to pull, try to free up their middle linebacker."

The Panthers enter the game with their feet planted firmly on the ground after flying high in the first half of the season. Central Catholic brought them back to reality with a 55-15 rout a week ago in Rey Vega's debut for the Raiders.

"They're a really good football team. No two ways around it," Snapp said. "We played a little tight, but we settled down and we played better in the second half. That's a team that'll show what we needed to work on."

Pacheco turned the ball over six times -- four interceptions and a pair of fumbles -- as CC jumped out to a 35-0 second quarter lead.

"It just kind of snowballed," Snapp said.

Pacheco's Kalama Kamoku accounted for both the Panthers' touchdowns, scoring from 10 yards out in the second quarter and 12 yards out in the fourth. He finished with 97 yards on 18 carries.

"We've had a good week of practice. We were down a little on Sunday, trying to lick our wounds," Snapp said. "We expected to play better, but we bounced back Monday."

Enterprise reporter David Witte can be reached by phone at 388-6565 or by e-mail at sports@losbanosenterprise.com

Enterprise reporter David Witte can be reached by phone at 388-6565 or by e-mail at sports@losbanosenterprise.com

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