Lions All-Stars settle for tie

Bryan Pascual of the North team comes up with an interception on the first play run by the South team during Saturday's Lions All-Star Classic in Tracy. Photo: Stu Jossey Photography.

Bryan Pascual of the North team comes up with an interception on the first play run by the South team during Saturday’s Lions All-Star Classic in Tracy. Photo: Stu Jossey.


The 21-21 final score is just the second in 41 years of the North vs. South Central California Lions All-Star Classic. Saturday night’s game in Tracy featured an MVP outing from a QB more known for handing off, an Offensive MVP who switched to slot receiver and a Defensive MVP more known for catching passes.

Note: To see a photo gallery of this year’s game from Stu Jossey Photography, CLICK HERE.

Note: For final game stats from Modesto Bee, CLICK HERE.

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With no true kickers on the rosters of either team in the 41st annual Central California Lions All-Star Classic football game played Saturday night in Tracy, there were some of the ugliest PAT kicks a person could ever see.

Still, all six of them that were attempted went through the goal posts and that was just one of the reasons that the North and South all-stars battled to a 21-21 tie.

Another reason is that a potential game-winning 23-yard field goal attempt by the South on the last play of the game was blocked. According to rules of the game, rushing the kicker isn’t allowed on PATs but it is for field goals and the pressure was mainly why it was swatted away.

In the 40 previous games, there had been just one tie, a 7-7 game in 1982. The North leads in the series 24-15-2 and had won eight of the previous 10 games.

The South had tied the score earlier in the fourth quarter on a 24-yard touchdown pass from Game MVP Kendel Johnson (Central Valley, Ceres) to Travante Richard (Merced). Richard then made the PAT after a five-yard penalty.

Johnson collected the MVP honor for also throwing a 5-yard TD pass to Tristan Best (Downey, Modesto) in the first quarter. He finished 11 of 22 passing for 138 yards and two scores and rushed 10 times for 79 yards.

Gaige Allen (Kimball, Tracy) was voted the game’s MVP for offense. He scored on a 49-yard pass reception from Kelse DePauli-Wiltse (Tokay, Lodi) on the second play of the game. Later in the first quarter, Allen scored again on a 22-yard pass from Wayne Brooks (Stagg, Stockton) and then in the fourth quarter he took another reception 30 yards down to the 2-yard line that set up a short scoring run by Alex Laurel (Manteca) that gave the North a 21-14 lead.

Sam Scheidt of the South all-stars, who is from Merced, gets ready to make a tackle in 41st Central California Lions All-Star Classic played Saturday in Tracy. Photo: Stu Jossey Photography.

Sam Scheidt of the South all-stars, who is from Merced, gets ready to make a tackle in 41st Central California Lions All-Star Classic played Saturday in Tracy. Photo: Stu Jossey.


In addition to kicking three PATs, Richard caught eight passes for 102 yards for the South.

Daniel Ruffin (Stagg, Stockton) made all three of the PAT kicks for the North and also displayed great moves in the open field at running back and on kick returns. He rushed eight times for 49 yards and caught one pass for eight yards.

The MVP of the game for defense was the North’s Bryan Pascual (St. Mary’s, Stockton). Known more as a receiver on offense for the Rams, Pascual applied pressure on the last field goal attempt with an outside rush and was credited by the announcer as having blocked the kick. It appeared to others that it was actually blocked by the middle of the line. Pascual might have been voted MVP for defense regardless. He had one interception, broke up three other passes and was credited with seven tackles.

The North, which was led by the coaching staff of Louis Franklin from Tokay of Lodi, also received a strong defensive outing from George Obinna (Tracy). He had 3 ½ sacks and hit quarterbacks that led to incomplete passes on three other occasions.

The South, which was led by the coaching staff of Rob Scheidt of Merced, battled on defense behind Rob’s son, Sam, plus Jordan Levu of Patterson. Sam Scheidt had a game-high eight tackles. Levu had four tackles, but also had one sack, another tackle for loss and put constant pressure on the North quarterbacks that led to two interceptions.

Most of the home side stands at Tracy’s Wayne Schneider Stadium were filled, leading to Wayne Schneider himself to guess that the attendance was perhaps as much as 2,500. Almost all from the Lions All-Star Football Committee who were there agreed that there were perhaps as many as 500 or more in attendance than from last year’s game in Modesto.

Mark Tennis is the co-founder and publisher of CalHiSports.com. He can be reached at markjtennis@gmail.com. Don’t forget to follow Mark on the Cal-Hi Sports Twitter handle: @CalHiSports


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