TRACY – The North defense gave its offense ample opportunities to score, but the North was kept out of the end zone Saturday night in a 24-2 loss to the South in the 45th annual Lions All Star Football Game at Wayne Schneider Stadium.
Sierra’s Jordan Black led a stellar defensive performance by local representatives Andrew Sena (East Union) and Cameron Gamino (Ripon).
Black was in on 12 tackles from his end position, he forced an interception on a ferocious pass rush, broke up a pass with Sena and recovered a fumble following a jarring hit by Gamino.
“Defensively we want to give the ball to the offense,” Black said. “And that’s what we came out here to do, and I think we did a darned good job of it.
“My teammate (Gamino) put his head on the ball and I saw it pop out. I knew I had to jump on it right away.”
Gamino saw time on the line on both sides of the ball and had two tackles along with the bone-jarring forced fumble.
“The coaches decided to put me at D tackle and I went in there and made the play,” Gamino said. “I got into perfect position and delivered the hit.”
In addition to his pass breakup with Black, Sena was in on four tackles.
“We came out a little flat-footed,” Sena said. “We were in the red zone four or five times and we just couldn’t get it in, but our defense played a good game.
“This was a great experience. Everyone was good and that kept me on my toes every single practice and the game was just cool.”
Lathrop’s Michael Ramos (eight carries, 64 yards) only had two carries for 3 yards in the first half, so by the time he hit the field in the third quarter he was hungry. Ramos ran for 61 yards in the third period, but he did not get the nod when the South was in the red zone.
“The first half I only got the ball two times,” Ramos said. “Coming out in the second half I knew I had to step up and do something so I would just hit the hole and try and use my speed to get up the field and make something happen.”
The game was close until the final three minutes when the South scored twice to pull away.
The North nearly outgained the South 2-1 (309-174) and stalled out three times inside the South 10-yard line, going 0 for 8 on fourth downs.
The North leads the overall series 24-19-2.