After it was over, when a late two-point conversion had failed and Central Valley Christian High’s football team had run out the clock, the Cavaliers celebrated their second title during eight seasons in the rugged Central Sequoia League.
Not that they had much margin for error.
And not that they know what, if anything, a CSL title will do for them come Nov. 7 when Central Section playoff seedings are set.
CVC clinched at least a share of the CSL crown by holding off Selma 26-24 on Friday at Cavaliers Stadium.
The Cavaliers will be champions outright for the first time if Exeter beats Dinuba next week.
CVC’s combined point differential during a 4-1 run through the CSL was five points: A 31-24 loss to Dinuba, 27-24 win over Exeter and a 35-28 defeat of Kingsburg.
“It’s really hard to withstand the CSL. It’s a hard league,” Cavaliers coach Mason Hughes said. “Plus-five is a testament to how hard this thing is. This team is a bunch of warriors.”
CVC (7-2) closes the regular season with a nonleague game at Immanuel, then will see where it lands in a jumbled race for the top playoff seed in Division IV, where Chavez (8-1), Washington (6-3), Chowchilla (7-2) and even Madera South (4-5) will all join the Cavaliers in contention for the top seeding.
“I don’t know (where we belong), but I’d love to have a home game,” said Hughes, whose team lost to Chowchilla, which lost to Washington, in results that will help determine the pecking order. “These players deserve it and these fans deserve it.”
Selma (6-3, 1-2) fell behind 26-12 early in the fourth quarter before rallying.
Henry Ramirez hit Joel Aranda for a 32-yard touchdown that made it 26-18 with 9:39 left, then got the ball back one final time with 3:02 left and marched 90 yards, capped by Jordan Dominguez’s 11-yard run. The Bears’ two-point conversion pass, after a wild scramble by Ramirez, fell incomplete with 1:24 left, and an onside kick wasn’t successful.
CVC pulled ahead behind Kolin Stock, who rushed for 227 yards and touchdowns of 15, 2 and 5 yards behind left tackle Jesse Chlouber, left guard Carlos Reyes, center Dane Nelson, right guard Zach Vanderkooi, right tackle Blake Walker, tight end Dalton Daily and fullback Brady Pate.
“We play pretty physical,” Stock said. “We try to wear teams down.”
The Cavaliers went up 26-12 with 11:42 left in the game on Steve Van Grouw’s 22-yard run.
Dominguez rushed for 165 yards and three touchdowns for Selma.