Berlin coach John Capodice will appeal his suspension under the CIAC’s 50-point policy, the Hartford Courant reported today.
But it may not be that simple. This looks like it’s going to be a mess.
I was dying for inofrmation on this game Sunday and found it when I happened upon the New Britain Herald’s website.
According to Gerry DeSimas Jr., apparently the only daily reporter at the game, it was 42-0 with 6:35 remaining in the third quarter.
Capodice told the Courant he recommended the referees use a running clock (no word on whether the referees took that recommendation) and when it got to 42-0, he told Berlin principal George Synott to be prepared. “This may get to 50,” he said.
According to the Herald, “Berlin didn’t attempt a pass in the second half and ran most of its plays up the middle with his players occasionally bouncing outside.”
Freshman Max Delorenzo scored on a 5-yard run with 9:15 left then sophomore David Campagna scored his first career touchdown on a 13-yard run up the middle with 3:08 remaining, the Herald reported.
OK. Those 12 points gets Berlin to 54. What the Herald didn’t report in its online game story, however, is the extra three points Berlin used to hit 57, which I believe is a critical piece of information.
Somewhere, I assume, there was a two-point conversion, because the Herald makes no mention of a safety, or a less-likely field goal.
It should also be known that the Journal Register Company, which owns the Herald and the New Haven Register, forbids the use of agate (i.e. scoring summaries etc) in its online content… it’s just one more way to try and force people to buy their print editions.
So we can’t find a box score anywhere online on Sunday. Thanks, JRC.
Another bone I have to pick with the Herald is that DeSimas, who’s been around for awhile, spends half the story talking about Berlin’s rank in the coaches poll and non-ranking in the state writers poll, and where it stands at the midpoint of the season and how it responded to giving up 30 points against an other team the week before–before actually getting to the real point of this story.
That Berlin broke the 50-point policy.
What’s worse, it doesn’t look like Farmington is too happy about it.
Here’s the response from Farmington, buried at the end of the Herald’s story: Coach Bruce Wearne declined to comment after the game.
Yikes. That’s none too encouraging if you’re Capodice, who’s been adamant in both the Courant and the Herald that he did nothing wrong and everything to keep the score down.
“If I was throwing the football with my first team in and my first back scoring, then I would be in violation and I would be sitting out the next game and I’d deserve it,” Capodice told the Courant on Saturday. “However, we did everything in our power to control the score. At Berlin, we don’t do that. We don’t embarrass the other team.”
Questions I have for the Courant, which I hope will be more on top of this than the Herald has been so far.
1. Was there a running clock used? I get the feeling there wasn’t, even though Capodice says he asked the officials to use one. EDIT: Apparently, both opposing coaches are supposed to agree to a running clock in order for it to be used.
2. How were three points added to the end of the final two touchdowns? A botched snap ran in by a kick holder? Or, worse, did Capodice actually go for two when is team was already over the 50-point barrier? What happened?
Either way, looking at the facts as of Sunday afternoon, Capodice should NOT be saved by the CIAC’s appeals committee.
The fact that he told his principal in the third quarter that this could get to 50, shows premeditation. Capodice knew the game was headed that way and let the kids play (I have no problem with that), but the extra three points showed that Capodice–right or wrong–didn’t appear to care about keeping points off the board.
In the most extreme cases, I’ve seen teams actually take a knee on extra points to keep the score down. Ansonia did just this against Wilby a few weeks ago. This doesn’t seem like it was the case in Berlin, especially when you re-read Capodice’s quotes.
Now, I hate this rule more than anyone. I think the onus should be put on coaches, athletic directors and, ultimately, school administrations to keep blowout scores down. But we have to face facts, blowout scores are as much a part of high school football as the forward pass.
I can’t confirm this, but I get the feeling that Capodice, after asking and failing to get a running clock, threw up his hands and turned this into his personal fight against a dumb, dumb, dumb rule.
If that’s the case, and again we don’t know if a running clock was used, I applaud Capodice for making a stand.
If anything, the existence of the 50-point policy shines a brighter spotlight on Farmington’s 57-0 loss. In any other state, the final score wouldn’t have merited anything other than a passing glance.
But with the policy, the klieg lights are on not just Berlin and Capodice, but the kids from Farmington as well.
This is the bed the CIAC has made for itself. And now they have to sleep in it.
Uphold the suspension, CIAC, then admit you made a mistake and get rid of this rule.