FNF Coaches Talk — Season Cancelled for Coach Who Played Suspended Player, QB Sneaks from the 1, HS Ticket on Sale for $200

Welcome back, Coaches. We hope you had a productive weekend. Let’s get right to the stories.

1. High School Cancels Football Season, Fires Coaching Staff After Suspended Player Suits Up With New Identity (STLhighschoolsports.com)

The craziest part of this story — for us — is that the coach thought he could get away with it. Wouldn’t you think the parents on your own players would have a problem with this type of thing?

A high school in St. Louis canceled the remainder of its undefeated football team’s season and fired the entire coaching staff after it was revealed that a suspended player suited up in a different uniform and played a game.

On October 15, STLhighschoolsports.com reported that 7-0 Cardinal Ritter College Prep had allowed running back Bill Jackson to play the Aug. 31 season opener at Nazareth Academy, even though the junior should have by rule received a one-game suspension after he was ejected in last year’s state title game. Instead, Cardinal Ritter allowed Jackson to switch his uniform number from No. 4 to No. 24 and play the opener as “freshman Marvin Burks”.

The running back’s participation was important to Cardinal Ritter’s victory, even though he and head coach Brandon Gregory later acted like he didn’t play. From the report:

While wearing No. 24, Jackson rushed for 109 yards and had a 56-yard touchdown run in a 32-21 win against Nazareth, the preseason No. 1 team in Chicago and the defending Illinois Class 7A champion.
After rushing for 147 yards against Lutheran North, Jackson and Gregory told STLhighschoolsports.com that Jackson sat out Week 1.
“Watching last week, it wasn’t fun at all,” Jackson said. “It gave me a spark.”
Gregory said, “He earned it, he deserved it. It was his time to play ball.”

After the news broke, Gregory sat for an interview for St. Louis NBC affiliate KSDK. He did not have anything illuminating to say beyond, “A mistake was made,” over and over again.

What is your team policy for a suspended player’s participation in practice and his attendance at the next game?

2. Chargers lose a heart-breaker by refusing to QB sneak from the 1 (Sharp Football)

The Los Angeles Chargers looked well on their way to a dramatic win in Tennessee yesterday, only to lose on a stalled offensive sequence from the Tennessee 1-yard-line.

Melvin Gordon appeared to score a touchdown with 34 seconds left, only he was called about one foot short after a replay review. Anthony Lynn handed it off to Gordon again, and Gordon fell short again, this time also fumbling in the process. Officials initially ruled Gordon down, which would have given the Chargers time for maybe one more play, but the review confirmed the fumble, and the Chargers lost.

Warren Sharp makes the case that Philip Rivers should have gotten the sneak — not Melvin Gordon.

What is your most likely play call on fourth-and-1 from the opponent’s 1-yard-line?

3. Ticket to High School Football Game Is on Sale on eBay for … $200? (Orange County Register)

While the rest of us are busy fundraising and pinching pennies to keep our equipment up to date and safe, two California schools are generating so much interest and enthusiasm in their games that tickets to games are going for a couple hundred bucks on the secondary market.

We’re just four days away from the latest game of the century pitting Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) and No. 3 St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.). The game is already sold out, as one might expect for such a titanic clash with significant ramifications for each team. Hence a Craigslist posting that was first dug up by the Orange County Register’s Steve Fryer which was offering a single ticket to Friday night’s game. The price tag? An eye-watering $200.

Which of your team’s games this season will draw the largest crowd?

What’s driving the conversation in your locker room? Email Managing Editor Dan Guttenplan or Tweet us @fnfcoaches. Don’t forget to use that hashtag #FNFCoachesTalk