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Titans banish decade of frustration, beat rival CV

The last time University defeated Central Valley in football was a decade ago. Friday night, the Titans put together their most complete game of their season to stun the Bears 35-23, dashing CV’s playoff hopes and putting the Titans’ record over .500 with a crossover game remaining next week.

U-Hi put a load on the shoulders of bullish rusher Bryce Williamson in an offense that racked up 435 yards, 316 on the ground.

But it was the defense, with a relentless effort, that kept CV on its heels all night.

Certainly, the Bears can argue that they had themselves to blame for the loss. An epidemic of penalties wiped out big plays – two that carried them inside U-Hi’s 5-yard line – and cost them a chance at putting the game away early.

University made them pay for the mistakes.

The Bears scored on the game’s initial series, Tanner Sloan lofting a 51-yard pass to Rhett Foley for a 6-0 lead a minute into the game.

The turnover bugaboo that plagued the Titans all season struck again when they coughed up a fumble to blunt a nice drive and tossed an interception on their second series. The Bears kicked a field goal on the first play of the second quarter.

Then the game turned, courtesy of University’s defense. Sloan was sacked eight times and three of his completions went for negative yardage. CV finished with a mere 20 net rushing yards.

One of the havoc-wreakers, junior linebacker Gage Anderson spoke on their behalf: “They’ve won 10 years straight and we set out to knock them out of the playoffs. The entire defense did what we had to do to end that streak.”

Bouyed by their effort, the offense was dominant from the second quarter on. There was a time-consuming 5-minute, 80-yard drive that featured 12 running plays that got the Titans on the scoreboard and a 40-yard receiver-to-receiver pass from Griffin Thorson to Tanner Chase that led to a 14-9 halftime lead.

Williamson, who rushed 42 times for 212 yards and four touchdowns, scored from 23 yards out after intermission. Quarterback Logan O’Neil’s 53-yard toss to Chase set up another TD for a 28-9 advantage.

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