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Local football stars shine at Lions All Star game
Turlock’s Porter earns MVP honors, Cordero Defensive MVP
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Turlock High’s Jordan Porter runs down the sideline and into the end zone after scooping up a fumble and returning it to the opposite end zone for a 50-yard score late in the fourth quarter. Porter was named the games Most Valuable Player. - photo by EDDIE RUIZ/ The Journal

Turlock High’s Jordan Porter, Gabe Cordero and Dallin Tilby single handedly defeated the North squad in the 45th annual Central California Lions All-Star Football Game that took place from Wayne Schneider Stadium in Tracy on Saturday.

Combined, all three scored 18 of their South team’s 24 points in what resulted in a lopsided 24-2 victory.

“I see my coaches out here supporting me… and I see all my guys, people from my school… this is huge,” said Porter. “This is one of the biggest opportunities I had in high school and I am glad we came out with the win.”

Porter was named the game’s Most Valuable Player, making it back to back years that a Turlock High player has earned the honors after Velasquez won it last year.

Porter finished the game with four catches and 53 yards, including a 50-yard fumble return for a touchdown.

Cordero was named the Defensive Player of the Game after he finished the game with half a dozen tackles and a sack.

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Gabe Cordero of Turlock High was named the Lions All-Star Defensive Player of the Game after finishing with half a dozen tackles, a sack and a fumble. - photo by EDDIE RUIZ/ The Journal

“I dreamed of playing another game of high school football… I am not going on to college, I have another all-star game (Rotary), but I am having fun and enjoying it here,” said Cordero. “I am doing well and it feels good to be here.”

Eight local representatives competed from four schools in the Journal’s coverage area.

Blake Davis (Denair), Chris Flores (Hilmar), Justin Sayers (Pitman), Tyler Etharidge (Turlock) and Brandon Flores (Turlock) made up the remaining bulk of local standouts.

“Playing in this game means a lot to me and I am glad I got the chance to play,” said Sayers.

“It feels good to be here. We didn’t know each other at the beginning of camp and it was good bonding,” said Hilmar’s Flores. “Everyone bonded and I honestly think this is one of the tightest teams that have built a strong bond and it feels good to be out here winning, just a good feeling, these guys are like my brothers, we have so much talent and we are unselfish, we know who we got and we put it to use.”

While the players were pumped for the game, the weather was also unfortunately.

The winds before, during and after the game were as drastic as they were during the entire 2017-18 prep football season. Winds peaked over 40-miles per hour, knocking over the sideline bench, while various hats flew across the field and papers of all sorts.

The passing game was not only ineffective but essentially nonexistent.

Any ball that was thrown over 10 yards saw the trajectory take a unique turn and stop in midair, knuckling around.

That is why all three touchdowns were scored on the ground.

The South forced the North squad to turn the ball over four times.

Turlock’s Dallin Tilby drilled a 26-yard field goal with 6:03 in the first quarter.

In the second quarter with 1:01 left till halftime, Gabe Cordero (Turlock) ran down the sideline corner and into the end zone for a 14-yard rushing touchdown to make it 10-0 after Tilby made the extra point.

The North squad finally got on the board with a safety in the fourth quarter with 11:38 left in the game to made the score 10-2.

Things remained stagnant until the closing minutes of the fourth when Jordan Porter of Turlock found the end zone after scooping a fumble forced by Cordero and returning it for 50-yards for a score that extended the lead to 17-2.

“There are no words for this… these guys are just crazy. Crazy in a good way, but it’s fun to be able to play with them,” said Davis. “That is what sets it all up, winning. It's an honor to play on this team and then you go out there and start winning that is what’s up, that is the best part, it’s cool.”

Anthony Caballero of Los Banos scored the final touchdown while Tilby drained the extra point that made the score 24-2 with 22 seconds left in the game.

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Eight total representatives from Turlock, Denair, Hilmar and Pitman High were part of the Lions 45th Annual All-Star Football Game. Their South squad beat the North team, 24-2. - photo by EDDIE RUIZ/The Journal

The South has won five of the last six games, with one tie.

Davis, along with Turlock’s Tilby, Cordero, Etharidge and Flores will play in the upcoming 33rd Annual North-South Bob Green Football Classic on the North team with the game kicking off from Veterans Stadium in Merced at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.