ORLAND — The Central Valley High football team first ran away from Orland before holding off a hard-charging Trojans squad for a 21-19 victory Friday night.
Connor Silveria ran for 199 yards and two touchdowns on 32 carries, and quarterback Timmy Naylor threw for 135 yards as he completed 12 of 16 passes at Trojan Stadium in a game that had the feel of a playoff matchup but also featured the execution of an early season contest as well.
Three late Falcon fumbles aided an Orland charge after Central Valley took a 21-0 lead with 1:32 left in the third quarter on Naylor’s 21-yard touchdown pass to cousin Kolton Naylor.
Until then, Orland’s best scoring chance came on a 35-yard try for a field goal that was blocked earlier in the third.
But the Trojans responded trailing by 21. A five-play drive started with a 32-yard catch for Kavi Ram, and it ended with a 20-yard run from Arthur Flynn.
That’s when Central Valley (2-1) got careless with the ball. After Orland cut it to 21-7, the Falcons fumbled the ensuing kickoff return, giving Orland (1-1) the ball at the CV 18. Another Tyler Batchelder-to-Ram connection resulted in 14 yards, and Flynn took care of the rest with a 4-yard TD plunge.
His second score came seconds into the fourth quarter, but the extra point was blocked by the Falcons, leaving them up 21-13.
Again, Central Valley didn’t hold onto the ball. After a 19-yard run from Silveria, who scored on TD runs of 14 and 3 yards in the second quarter, the Falcons fumbled. Orland took over at its own 40.
“We gave them spark after spark,” CV coach Matt Hunsaker said. “And you can’t do that against good teams.”
The Trojans went on an 11-play drive that ended with Ram’s 17-yard TD catch with 7:31 left in the game. The senior finished with 119 yards receiving on nine receptions.
Down 21-19, Orland, of course, went for the 2-point conversion.
A run to Dominic Alves had no chance as the CV front that had already blocked a field goal and an extra point penetrated the Trojans’ backfield at the snap of the ball.
“He had the fresh legs and the low center of gravity,” Orland coach Mike McDonald said of Alves who hadn’t carried the ball prior to the play. “As soon as it was snapped, it was one of those where you go, ‘Aaahhhhh…'”
The Falcons then finally held on to the ball — for a while at least. Twelve plays later, though it was back in the Trojans’ hands thanks to the Falcons’ third fumble of the half and fourth of the game.
Orland took over at its own 24 with 2:48 left in the game. Down two, a field goal or a TD would be enough.
A 26-yard completion to Junior Maldonado from Batchelder got the Trojans to the 50.
But on the next play, an Orland receiver fell down and Sawyer McDonald intercepted Batchelder.
Central Valley took over at the Trojans’ 31, and from there the Falcons ran out the rest of the clock with Timmy Naylor taking a knee twice at the Orland 5.
“If it weren’t for those fumbles, it wouldn’t have been that close,” Kolton Naylor said.
After a scoreless first quarter, a 14-yard TD run from Silveria made it 7-0 in favor of CV — which entered the game ranked fourth among Division II teams in the North State Media Poll.
That came with 9:59 left in the second quarter, but CV wasn’t done against the third-ranked Trojans.
After the teams exchanged fumbles — CV’s coming on a punt return and Orland’s coming on a Batchelder run at the CV 33 — the Falcons went up 14-0 on a 14-play drive that covered 67 yards and started with 5:07 left in the half.
Silveria capped the drive with a 3-yard TD run with 41.5 seconds left in the half. The fast-paced attack the Falcons implemented this season worked as they ran off 41 plays compared to Orland’s 22 in the first two quarters.
“They hit us in the mouth first,” Ram said.
CV also benefited from the quick composure and quicker feet of Timmy Naylor. The quarterback recovered after a number of errant shotgun snaps only to recover for positive yardage on a scramble or more often a completed pass downfield.
“Even with a bad snap,” cousin and tight end Kolton Naylor said, “our coach says he expects us to go full speed.”
Timmy Naylor, who doubles as the teams’ punter completed a fourth-down pass to James Quinn for 21 yards on a fake late in the first quarter. That led to Silveria’s first TD run in the second quarter.
Central Valley’s Razi Lovett had six catches for 63 yards.
For Orland, Batchelder ran for 53 yards on 19 carries and Flynn had 65 yards on 10 carries. Batchelder threw for 163 yards on 14-of-20 passing.
“I’m sure we’ll see them again,” Kolton Naylor said of Orland as both two teams are expected to qualify for the playoffs.
But for now, Central Valley plays next Friday at Enterprise, a 28-3 winner against West Valley.
Connect with Sports Writer Joseph Shufelberger at www.twitter.com/JShufelberger.
Central Valley 21, Orland 19
Central Valley 0 14 7 0 — 21
Orland 0 0 7 12 — 19
CV — Silveria 14 run (Guiterrez kick), 9:59
CV — Silveria 3 run (Guiterrez kick), :41.5
CV — K. Naylor 21 pass from T. Naylor (Guiterrez kick), 1:32
O — Flynn 20 run (Anguiano kick), :16.1
O — Flynn 4 run (kick blocked), 11:56
O — Ram 17 pass from Batchelder (run failed), 7:31
RUSHING — Central Valley, Silveria 32-199, Lovett 6-19, Penta 6-33, T. Naylor 8-2, McDonald 3-16; Orland, Batchelder 19-53, Flynn 10-65, Gonzalez 1-13, Maldonado 2-7, Mendoza 1-15.
PASSING — Central Valley, T. Naylor 12-16-0-135; Orland, Batchelder 14-20-1-163.
RECEIVING — Central Valley, Penta 2-19, Lovett 6-63, Quinn 1-21, McDonald 2-11, K. Naylor 1-21; Orland, Ram 9-119, Maldonado 2-30, Gonzalez 1-10, Batchelder 1-(minus 6), Wiseman 1-10.
JV — Orland def. Central Valley.