Watch highlights of the North team’s 19-18 win over South in 46th annual Central California Lions All-Star Game
Some all-star games are played in a lackadaisical style.
They feature lots of laughs and maybe have players out of their normal positions.
That wasn’t the case in the annual Central California Lions All-Star Game at Lincoln High School in Stockton on Saturday.
From the start, the intensity was high, with a lot of chirping between players. If you didn’t know it, you would think you were at a playoff game.
The North snapped a six-game winless streak to the South with a 19-18 victory after blocking Matt Robinson’s 22-yard, go-ahead field goal attempt with 40 seconds left.
While the North team, which improved its series lead to 25-19-1, had players from San Joaquin County and the Sierra foothills, the South was comprised of Stanislaus and Merced county players.
It was the final time Gregori brothers Marcello and Trey Longstreth would suit up together.
Marcello is headed to Modesto Junior College while Trey will play at the College of the Canyons.
Marcello played defense while his brother played on offense. But they both lined up next to each other on kickoffs.
“I have a lot of things going through my mind,” Trey said. “Tonight was pretty fun.”
Trey hauled in a 62-yard touchdown pass from Turlock quarterback Jonah Kosakiewicz early in the third that gave the South a 12-6 lead.
Longstreth caught the ball in the air, knocked down the defensive back on the way down and taunted the defense on his way to the end zone.
“I told him just to throw it deep and lead me,” he said. “Normally, I don’t do a lot of jump balls but on that one, I was like, ‘I have to snag it,’ and I took it from there.”
Modesto running back and defensive back Zaire Eugene is headed to MJC so this game wasn’t his last.
Eugene, who said he has been in the weight room since the season ended, was named the game’s defensive MVP.
“It meant the world,” he said. “I did what I had to do.”
Eugene also had a 9-yard touchdown run with three minutes left in the game and had a second TD nullified by an offensive holding nullified the score.
“Everything doesn’t go my way,” he said.
After a North touchdown with 2 minutes, 26 seconds left gave it a one-point lead, the South got the ball back.
Davis quarterback Xavier Rodriguez rolled out to the left side and found Orestimba wide receiver Tyler Vargas for a 35-yard completion.
It was the second reception over 30 yards of the half for Vargas.
He signed with Pacific University in Oregon, and said he is often overlooked because of his size (5-foot-7).
“If they (defenses) overlook me, I am going to get open,” Vargas said. “I have confidence in myself.”
Vargas said the entire experience (spending the week at Stanislaus State) with his teammates was memorable.
“I love to bring a good camaraderie to a team and am trying to encourage everyone to leave it on the field,” he said. “We created a special bond. Through four days, we had 12 to 15 practices together so all that grind time, we truly turned into brothers.”
- Kosakiewicz had a 1-yard touchdown run in the first quarter.
- Merced’s Dhameer Warren and Modesto’s Jaquile Ingram each had an interception.
- Denair’s Steffin Winston turned 18 on Saturday and had over 80 rushing yards.