Yes, there is finally public video of the North Branford-Lewis Mills brawl published today by the New Haven Register.
What started it: Lewis Mills’ No. 2 pushes North Branford No. 61 hard over Lewis Mills’ 78, who then takes exception to 78 rolling over him like that. 76 gets up to confront him, pushes 78 down again with the help of No. 2. And as he’s still trying to get up, the two Mills’ players push No. 33
That’s when the movie cuts. Not sure how much time elapses.
Movie resumes and there’s clearly more than 11 Lewis Mills players falling around several North Branford players. The Lewis Mills team has also charged onto the field. The North Branford coaches run onto the field with about 4 North Branford players joining them. The rest of the team, save about four kids, follows. It’s hard to see, but it really doesn’t look like they contribute much outside of maybe one or two additional players.
Things appear to calm down some as referees and coaches get into the middle of it. There’s a side scuffle, between North Branford 21 and Lewis Mills 34
A couple of thoughts as I watch this:
1. That’s it?
2. Lewis Mills players appear to create this fracas.
3. Regardless of what you see happen, unless you were there in the middle of it, you still don’t get the full story. You get some, but not all. The head referee deemed it necessary to eject everybody in uniform, even those who ran onto the field. That means everybody dressed in this one must miss the next game.
4. I really find it hard to fault North Branford for this. I wasn’t there. The video cuts at a crucial moment. But, Lewis Mills appeared to go all-in. North Branford’s response was reactionary — at least according to this evidence.
5. Does this mean North Branford should forfeit the whole game? I’m kind of torn by this. Part of me wants to lay down the law to make sure everybody knows this behavior is not acceptable.
But the other half of me says, North Branford really got baited into this situation and didn’t deserve to lose this game to forfeit just for sticking up for its teammates, who were obviously getting pummeled with nobody to protect them. And it wasn’t like North Branford’s players really just jumped in there. Most of them just stopped at the edge.
Then again, the game really couldn’t continue at this point, regardless. So does North Branford deserve a win?
I don’t know. It’s a tough call. The referee made one. I guess there really was no other reasonable alternative but to rely in his judgement.We can’t have this garbage, no matter what.
It’s a damn shame.