As a media partner of the Central California Lions All-Star Game and volunteer media relations coordinator, one of the main functions for Cal-Hi Sports at the annual event is to conduct MVP voting. Here’s how this year’s vote played out plus here are some of the game’s statistical leaders for both offense and defense:
For a recap of this year’s Lions All-Star Football Game, CLICK HERE.
1. In a wild high-scoring affair like this one (South beat the North 51-38), MVP voting has to wait until almost the final seconds click off of the clock.
2. With 30 seconds left, Nate Phillips of Modesto High ran it in for an 18-yard TD and had essentially uplifted himself to be the Game MVP. Phillips finished 12 of 20 passes for 116 yards and three touchdowns. He also rushed for 71 yards to lead the South.
3. The game’s final play saw the second interception of the night from Modesto Downey’s Jakob Magana. Others were under consideration for Defensive MVP, but since Magana also had big TD catch on offense that last interception made him an easy choice as well.
4. Voting from the media at the game also reflected the preference for Phillips and Magana. It was for the third MVP honor, Offensive MVP, that became more complicated.
5. Nate Jones of Tracy had a game-high 128 yards rushing on just six carries for the North with two TDs and also had a 20-yard reception. Rashaad Cooper of Tracy Kimball had a 60-yard TD run for the North and ended with eight carries for 101 yards. Then there was Patterson’s Damarrio Hammonds of the South. He helped clinch the win with a punt return in the final minutes and caught seven passes for 114 yards and two TDs.
6. Media voting actually had Hammonds and Jones in a tie. But since the South already had the MVP and the Defensive MVP, a decision was just made to make Jones the Offensive MVP. This was admittedly an effort to give the North team at least one of three MVP honors for such a high-scoring affair. It was just one week ago that Jones was in the finals of the CIF state track meet in the 100-meter dash. His speed will be displayed next at Fresno City College.
7. Additional standouts for the South on defense were Hunter Powers (Patterson) with eight tackles; Jason Foglia (Turlock Pitman) with seven tackles; and Jacob Da Brau (Hughson) with a fumble recovery.
8. Additional standouts for the North on defense were JaQuan Williams (Stockton Edison) with 12 tackles, a deflected pass and an onside kick recovery; Trevon McCray (Manteca Sierra) with 11 tackles and a quarterback hurry; Kiante Bell (Stockton Edison) with seven tackles, a fumble recovery and a deflected pass; and Brandon Russell (Tracy) with eight tackles, an interception and two pass deflections.