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High school football: Why 106-0 Southern California score is a teaching lesson for all

High school football: Why 106-0 Southern California score is a teaching lesson for all

I thought it was bad enough when the author of, whose computer-generated football rankings are used by some California Interscholastic Federation sections for playoff seeding, issued a statement last week in response to Southern California coaches asking that their rating be “artificially lowered” to improve their chances of winning.

“Our ratings are our ratings, take it or leave it as you see fit,” Ned Freeman wrote on the website. “The system is based on your results; nothing else. You don’t need to let us know that you’re undersized, outmanned, inexperienced, have low enrollment, have low effort at practice, have players with low football IQ, have few players on your roster, can’t afford nice uniforms, etc., etc.

“Those things are not factors in any legitimate power ratings system, and alerting us to these facts will not change your rating.”

But then came a result over the weekend that ignited a firestorm of backlash, including stern statements from multiple high school governing bodies:

Inglewood 106, Morningside-Inglewood 0

The quarterback of the winning team, Justyn Martin, a UCLA commit, threw for 13 touchdowns and completed a pass for a two-point conversion when the score was 104-0.

The coach on the losing side, Brian Collins, told the Los Angeles Times, “It was a classless move. I told them, ‘Go play St. John Bosco and Mater Dei.”

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The coach on the winning side, Mil’Von James, has not made a public comment, but the school district that oversees both schools, Inglewood Unified, has.

“We at the Inglewood Unified School District (IUSD) are saddened beyond words by the events that transpired at the football game Friday between Inglewood and Morningside high schools,” the district wrote in a statement. “We will conduct a full investigation and take whatever steps are necessary to ensure that a similar outcome never happens again under an IUSD athletic program.

“Our expectations at IUSD is that every athletic contest reflects the highest level of sportsmanship, respect and collegiality in every interaction among players, coaches, staff and administrators. We value the hard work and commitment made by every student-athlete, and regret these actions have taken the focus away from the positive strides our programs have made at IUSD.”

The Times reported that James was fired from another school, Hawkins, following the 2016 season after his team had to forfeit every game and was placed on probation because it used ineligible players.

Friday, Inglewood led 59-0 after the first quarter and a running clock started in the second quarter, the Times reported.

Morningside, according to the Times, wanted a running clock even earlier but Inglewood refused.

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Let’s be clear: There are blowouts every weekend on high school football fields across the state, some more cringe-worthy than others.

But the vast majority of coaches know when to put in the backups and are OK with starting a running clock early if the losing side wants one.

Officially, running clocks must start when the score differential reaches 35 points after the third quarter.

Before Friday, Morningside’s worst losses were 67-0 to Leuzinger and 50-0 Dymally. The team finished the season 2-8.

Inglewood is 9-0.

Before Friday, its largest margins of victory were 59-0 over Hawthorne and 53-0 over Beverly Hills.

Inglewood was placed in the Southern Section’s Division II playoffs Sunday and is scheduled to visit St. Bonaventure on Friday. projects Inglewood to lose 41-21.

With the playoffs in the Bay Area set to start next week — including in the Central Coast Section, which uses to help seed its teams in equity-based brackets — let’s hope coaches don’t …

— Allow a score to reach a point in which administrators have to issue statements and investigate your team’s actions.

— Email about doctoring your team’s rating for a more favorable playoff matchup.


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