Williamsville South, which lost to Grand Island in last weekend's Class A semifinals, and West Seneca East, which also lost in the semifinals at Iroquois, played a ninth game Thursday night with South winning, 48-28, at East.
Here's our Web story (one which, by the way, has more information about this weekend as well as Thursday night's games than we could fit in the paper):
A few things:
* Any issues I have with what happened in this game have nothing to do with Joe Licata, who is a fabulous student-athlete, and, from my few interactions I've had with him in the course of doing my job, he seems to be a great young man. The kid is a great player and that's why colleges are after him. He throws touchdowns. That's his job. That's what he does.
* The reason the Will South game is at the end of our story is because the record was set in a ninth game. The statistics are certainly legitimate. The games are a chance for schools to play more football, and I'm in favor of them. But I think everyone would agree that these games certainly fall under a different category than a regular season game.
* Maybe the ninth-week thing is part of what is giving me a not-so-great feeling in my gut.
Just because it's not the regular season anymore it doesn't mean sportsmanship has to get thrown out the window.
First and foremost: These games are supposed to be a good thing, giving teams another opportunity to play and programs a chance to grow long-term. The games are not supposed to be called with 50 seconds left due to unsportsmanlike conduct.
In another ninth-week game that was called in, the coach reporting the game struggled to find a name of the kicker of a late touchdown because the regular kicker for a team had been kicked out of the game.
Then there's South throwing the ball for a touchdown with less than a minute to play when it had the game won, and how that touchdown was a sixth passing TD of the game that went into the books as a Western New York record-breaker.
Any box score from any point of the season that included a passing touchdown with 50 seconds left would raise my eyebrows. I've called out teams before for passing with big leads in the fourth quarter. Maybe it's me.
I had an interesting discussion with some very trusted, very intelligent sports copy editors at work and they had no problem with the late touchdown. It was only a 14-point game, not a 40-point game, they said. Let them go for the record, they said.
What do you think they should have done, my coworkers asked. I suppose I think that with a 14-point lead and less than a minute to play in the game, South should have been running the ball, first game or ninth game, first down or fourth down, record or no record.
But I certainly could be wrong, and there's a space below where I'm sure some people will tell me so.
taggedHigh school football | West Seneca East | Williamsville South