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12:24 AM Sat, Feb. 16th

Football stars shine in charity game

Former Raiders help Mohave County Sheriff's Explorers in fund raiser

KINGMAN ­ Three former NFL players were in town on Friday night to help raise money for the Mohave County Sheriff's Explorer's program.

In a charity basketball game the NFL All-Stars defeated the Mohave County Sheriffs All-Stars 70-60.

Former Oakland Raiders Cliff Branch, Kenny King and Rod Martin participated in the event as well as signed autographs for fans who came to the game.

"We're giving something back," Branch said. "Fans have always been supportive of sports. Now that Kenny (King), Rod (Martin) and I are retired, we're going into communities and anytime we can support the fire fighters, law enforcement, we're giving something back."

The three former NFLers played alongside and against players from the sheriff's department and the explorer's post.

The NFL All Stars led for most of the game, and the game looked to be a blowout early on after they opened to a 23-6 lead.

However, the sheriff's All-Stars closed the gap and trailed by only 42-36 at halftime. They held a brief 57-55 lead midway through the second half, but the NFL All Stars regrouped, regained the lead and went on to win.

"This was a chance for the fans to see that players are genuine," Branch said. "At games fans are in the stands and players are down on the field. They don't get a chance to see players close-up. Here in the gym they get a chance to see we're personable, we're regular people."

After the game the Explorer's post raffled off several autographed items including signed footballs and t-shirts.

Sgt. Carlos Rooks, the lead advisor of the Explorer's, helped put the event together.

"The majority of the money goes to the Mohave County Sheriff's Explorer's post because the program is self-funded," Rooks said. "It pays for uniforms and competitions, which are very expensive."

The Explorer's post also had J.J. Jackson of KGMN Super Country announce the game in the Kingman Junior High School gym.