The Pacheco Panther varsity football team opened their 2022 season on the road in Ceres and came up just short, losing 18-17 to the Central Valley Hawks.

The Panthers took the early lead when Abel Bravo followed blocks by Caven Hale and Owen King into the endzone on a 39-yard touchdown run.

Enrique Murguia added the conversion kick and Pacheco held a 7-0 lead.

Abraham Fernandez upped the Panther lead to 13-7 when he scored a

Pacheco touchdown and with the Murguia conversion Pacheco had a 14-0 advantage.

Central Valley made the score 14-2 when they blocked a Panther punt for a safety. The Hawks then intercepted a Panther pass and returned it a touchdown closing the gap to 14-9 in favor of Pacheco.

Murguia gave the Panthers a 17-9 advantage when he kicked a 29-yard field goal late in the third quarter.

The Hawks made it 17-15 early in the fourth quarter when David Cortez rambled 65 yards for a touchdown.

With three minutes left in the fourth quarter Central Valley added a field goal to take a 18-17 lead.

With time running out the Panthers marched right down the field and with three seconds left in the game, Pacheco set up for a game winning field goal.  Misfortune beset the Panthers as the snap was not handled, ending a chance for a Pacheco victory.

The Panthers take to the road next week to play Seaside on Friday, September 2.

Michael Martin