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Manteca cornerback Zion Allen signs with BYU
BYU sign
BYU-bound Manteca High senior Zion Allen goes over his national letter of intent with mom Tish as father Rico looks on Wednesday.

Zion Allen received plenty of encouragement during his football journey.

As a junior on the Manteca High varsity football squad, he played sparingly despite his physical skills – Allen was listed at 6-2 with blazing speed.

The reigning Valley Oak League champion in both the 100- and 200- meter sprints put it all together this year.

He helped the No. 4-seeded Buffaloes win their fourth Sac-Joaquin Section Division III title in five years, catching the game-winning touchdown in championship game against league rival Oakdale – with 22 seconds, Allen came up clutch by reeling in quarterback Hudson Wyatt’s pass for the 35-28 victory.

He’ll continue his football career in Provo, Utah.

On Wednesday, Allen signed his letter of intent to attend the Brigham Young University of the Pac 12 Conference.

The Cougars under coach Kalani Sitake finished 10-3 while receiving an invitation to play in Independence Bowl. BYU suffered a hard-fought 31-28 loss to Alabama-Birmingham.

Allen is thrilled to take that next step on the gridiron.

“Not too many people from here have that opportunity to play (football) at a D-1 program,” said Manteca High Athletic Director Neil MacDannald.

Allen, flanked by his parents Rico and Tish, was joined by friends, family, teammate and coaches during his signing in MHS Tutoring Center.

He thanked those who saw his potential, in particular, assistant coach Seth Davis. Allen had drawn interest from other college program for his football prowess, including Sac State, Idaho, and Colorado State.

But he chose to be a Cougar, where he’ll look to play in the defensive backfield. “Cornerback is my best position,” Allen said.

Buffaloes head coach Mark Varnum was proud at seeing his development over the course of one year. “Zion always had huge potential – he managed to put it all together this past season,” he said.

On defense, Allen finished the year with 50 tackles, an interception, and a team-high 20 pass deflection.

His football journey continues.