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Locals play in Lions All-Star football game

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Former Sierra High running back Anthony Cota protects the North quarterback during the Lions’ All Star Football game at the Modesto Junior College Stadium on Saturday night. Cota’s North team lost ...


POSTED June 17, 2013 1:00 a.m.

MODESTO – When the North scored with 2 minutes, 33 seconds left in the 40th Central California Lions All-Star Football Game at Modesto Junior College, it still trailed the South by two points.

 Enter Sierra’s Anthony Cota.

 The record-setting Timberwolf had only four carries to that point for 10 yards, and he was due. He took the handoff on the two-point conversion attempt and blasted into the end zone to knot the score. The South battled back to score a field goal on the last play of the game to claim a 17-14 win, only their second in the last 11 games.

 Cota was amazed at the size of the hole on that final conversion run.

 “That was a wide-open hole,” Cota said. “My little brother from the stands could have run it in.

 “This was a tough week of practice, but we made it through. And everyone on the team was good.”

 Cota looks to continue his career at Modesto Junior College, as does Daniel Clemons of Manteca High. Clemons started at center and saw action on both sides of the ball.

 “It felt great to play in this game,” Clemons said. “And it was a fun week.

 “This game had the best players I have ever faced in it.”

 The South took a 14-0 lead into the third quarter when Kimball’s Zack Johnson took over. Johnson scored on runs of 32 and 9 yards in the second half – the 9-yarder coming with 2:33 left – and led the North with 88 yards on 10 carries and was 4 of 6 passing for 45 yards.

Twice in the first half the South penetrated inside the North 5-yard line – one of those trips had first and goal inside the 1 – but the North defense shut them out both times.

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