Time for state to look at a football 'mercy rule'

Published: Wednesday, November 6, 2013 at 04:42 PM.

With Havelock beating West Carteret 53-0 in the third quarter, reserve quarterback Jordan Begley dropped back to pass and threw a 17-yard touchdown pass to backup wide receiver Christian Crowe.

Later, freshman quarterback Cory Cooper threw a 65-yard touchdown pass to sophomore Trey Owens. Suddenly, Havelock had a 67-0 lead.

What followed should not have come as any surprise — a discussion on social media websites about whether the Rams were running up the score.

In light of a Texas case in which a parent filed a bullying complaint against another high school’s coach after his son’s team lost 91-0, it’s a discussion worth having.

In the Texas case, the winning coach, Tom Buchanan, pulled his starters after just 21 plays. The clock ran continuously starting in the third quarter. In the end, the school district that investigated the complaint found “no grounds” to support a case of bullying.

In the Havelock-West Carteret game, Ram coach Jim Bob Bryant had pulled his starters out of the game. Begley threw two passes, one of which went for a touchdown. That pass came on third down, after two unsuccessful run plays. The touchdown pass by Cooper was his only pass attempt of the game.

Can the players be blamed for scoring touchdowns? Can Bryant be blamed for calling pass plays? What if the touchdowns came on run plays? Are the Rams running up the score then?

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