Ridley-less Saints march on proudly

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 11, 2007

I don’t think many expected Trinity to handle Huntington with the ease they showed Friday night.

It appears that, without Stevan Ridley’s broad shoulders, several others have stepped up to handle the load. Quarterback Parker Brumfield and sophomore running back R.J. Fleming have emerged from Ridley’s huge shadow and have Trinity on a roll.

I am glad to see that both Cathedral and Natchez High posted victories Friday. Cathedral’s opening loss to Dexter doesn’t look bad in light of Dexter’s wipe-out of St. Al 38-7 Friday night.

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The six eight-man football playing schools are a couple of weeks into the season. Each team will play 10 games, playing every other eight-man team twice. So far it looks like Russell Christian and Calvary Christian (both are Meridian-area schools) and Kemper Academy are the pick of the crop. Ironically, Rebul Academy, with Kemper the two schools who previously played 11-man football, lost Friday night to Kemper Academy by a 44-14 score.

Calvary Christian also scored 44 points in their 44-18 win over Ben’s Ford. Russell Christian, a 46-12 winner over Mt. Salus, broke the 44 point anomaly.

It was expected that eight-man football would lead to more scoring, but that must hold true for the winners only. If any of my readers know anything about officiating the eight-man game, or how those officials are assigned, I would like to hear from you.

Many times this column has carried my comments about college football officiating. Most of the time those comments are either positive or at least explanatory. I also mostly defend those who write and enforce the game’s rules, including the “instant replay” system. That system is now uniform around the country, which probably means that a replay crew comes from the conference furnishing the game officials, since the electronics involved should be the same in all of the major stadiums. I know there are exceptions to the visiting crew plan, such as when the teams are from the opposite parts of the country.

In my studied opinion, the “visiting crew” concept should be scrapped. It would be less expensive to assign neutral crews for all major intersectional college football games. That would apply to replay officials as well. There was a play in Saturday night’s LSU vs Virginia Tech game when the replay official overruled two officials on the field and awarded the Hokies a touchdown. The result had no bearing on the outcome of the game, and meant little, but I know the announcers turned down the volume on their microphones. The noise from Tiger Stadium was probably heard in Natchez. Neutral crews and replay officials might have made the same ruling, but the perception of unfairness would not have arisen.

I will admit that I do not know that replay officials come with the visiting crew. I also know that the television replay the viewing public saw might not have provided all of the views of that play that the replay officials had available to them. The rule is that, unless there is clear evidence, rulings made on the field shall stand.

And, That’s Official

Al Graning writes a weekly column for The Democrat. He can be reached at AlanWard39157@aol.com.