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Dave Ruden offers news, commentary and analysis on the FCIAC and local sports

FCIAC Football Rewind: Petroccio does it the right way

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Staples coach Marce Petroccio during Friday's game with Brien McMahon.

Staples coach Marce Petroccio had a decision to make at halftime of last Friday’s game with Brien McMahon. The Wreckers were leading, 49-0, putting Petroccio on the precipice, with the constraints of the CIAC’s much-ridiculed 50-point rule, of how to play the second half.

Petroccio did it the right way.

“I have a tremendous amount of respect for every coach in the league and I would never look to embarrass anyone,” Petroccio said in a telephone interview Wednesday afternoon. “I made a decision that I was going to play the entire JV for the second half of the game. I was not about to make a mockery of the game, and not do what I felt would embarrass (McMahon coach) A.J. Albano and take a knee or have kids fall down. That’s almost a lack of respect for the game.”

It is sad that Petroccio even had to consider handling the situation as he did, having junior varsity kids run between the tackles, getting the chance both to impress their coaches with rare playing time and under Staples’ new lights.

Petroccio said he never considered the ramifications of a possible one-game suspension for winning by more than 50 points — the Wreckers were up 55-0 early in the third quarter — though he said his players did.

“I told the kids I would deal with it,” Petroccio said.

This is going to be an abbreviated post; the interview with Petroccio was compelling, it is an issue I feel strongly about and Petroccio handled it with the same perfection his players exhibited in the first half.

Most interesting is what would have happened had the Wreckers’ 55-0 lead stood. It would have brought the spotlight again on one of the most inane sports rules on any level.

I will have much more on Petroccio and the 50-point rule in a column in Friday’s Advocate.

Game of the Week

Stamford (2-1) at St. Joseph (2-1), Saturday, 2:30. The most compelling game by far on a mediocre slate. Will the Cadets suffer a letdown after their great come-from-behind overtime win over Darien? Will the Black Knights bounce back from a disheartening loss at Ridgefield? Each team will be taking different paths on the crossroad depending on the outcome.

The Fab 5

1. STAPLES (3-0). The Wreckers get a much-needed bye week to rest up from all those trips into the end zone.

2. GREENWICH (2-0). The Cardinals return to action off a bye week to continue on the march that seems to have them headed to a Thanksgiving Day showdown between unbeaten teams with Staples.

3. RIDGEFIELD (2-1). The Tigers will reportedly be without quarterback Connor Rowe again; he is serving a two-game suspension for a violation of team rules. They still looked sharp against Stamford.

4. ST. JOSEPH (2-1). The win over Darien has put the Cadets back into the thick of the state playoff race, though a few difficult tests remain.

5. DARIEN (2-1). The Blue Wave need to get healthy, and probably at least a split with Staples and New Canaan to return to the postseason.

Categories: General

6 Responses

  1. Dave Ruden says:

    A few teams you’d have to consider. Certainly it is one of them.

  2. Josh says:

    Is Trinity at least 6th?

  3. jeb says:

    The Heisman trophy is named after coach John Heisman of Georgia Tech. This award goes to the most outstanding college football player in the nation. Coach Heisman once beat Pembroke University 225 to 0. They name an award after this guy…he should have been shot without the blinfold.

  4. Dave Ruden says:

    Can’t disagree with you.

  5. BHSfan says:

    “[M]ost inane sports rules on any level” says it all. It is grossly unfair to place coaches like Marce Petroccio in the position of choosing among a number of bad, obvious and demeaning to the opponent options to artificially keep the margin of victory below 50. Come on CIAC, this is high school football not Pop Warner.

  6. maxhowell says:

    the wreckers may have the three best players in the fciac with zelkowitz frusciante and kelly. along with what seems like the best oline for a long time in the fciac. this really may be the year staples wins the fciac and states and finishes #1