Mercy Rule Enforced at Homecoming Game
Sports - Sports
Written by Millbank Daily-Weekly   
Saturday, 29 September 2012 08:12

Despite the large crowd and mostly positive response, the Millbank High Homecoming game was a heartbreaker for the Viscounts (0-5-0) and their fans. Referees invoked the Mercy Rule after the Chesterburgh Point High Americans (4-0-0) scored their seventh safety and led 56-0 with nine minutes remaining in the second quarter.

The Mercy Rule is a discretionary call that referees can make to end a game early if it has gotten out of hand and they see no possibility that the losing team can compete. It is generally used in elementary schools to prevent children from being demoralized. It has not been used in a tri-city area high school game since 1992, when the rural West Chesterburgh High Snap Peas fielded a team comprised partially of dogs.

"We didn't have it tonight," said Millbank coach Arn Tuttle. "Our guys simply forgot how to run, tackle and that other thing you're supposed to do."

Referees initially attempted to invoke the Mercy Rule at the end of the first quarter with the Americans leading 36-0. However, Millbank school officials requested the game continue. Their reasoning was not that they believed the Viscounts could come back, but that the Homecoming parade and crowning of king and queen was scheduled for halftime. There were to be no halftime fireworks after last year's unfortunate incident.

After taking a drubbing in the first quarter, the Viscounts employed a new strategy in the second. They attempted to run out the clock by falling on the ball after each snap. Coach Tuttle noted that using the new tactic they had only given up an additional 20 points before the referees called the game.

Because of the referee ruling, there was no halftime. The Homecoming parade and coronations were rescheduled for 8 a.m. on Saturday and moved to the Fun but Dangerous vacant lot at Ninth Avenue and Main Street.

"Passing! That's the other thing," said Coach Tuttle. "I knew I'd remember it."

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