Sports Scrapbook – Week of Nov. 30, 2012

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Sports Scrapbook

McBryde stars as Vikings edge Spartans for first time in 8 years

Jarren McBryde threw two touchdown passes to Dayshawn Reynolds in the final two minutes before the half to lead Atlantic High to a thrilling 13-7 win over Holy Spirit. Prior to these two scores, Spirit dominated the game and led 7-0. However, a fumble set up the winning score as the Vikings broke an eight-game series of losses to Spirit on Thanksgiving Day.

McBryde, the all-time Viking quarterback leader in combined passing and running, was 18-32 for 203 yards in the air and led AC in rushing with 44 yards on the ground. He accounted for almost 90 percent of the offense. Running back Domineek Hurd Brown and defensive lineman Robert Glanville were outstanding for the Vikings.

Once again Spirit’s defense was superb, blanking the high-scoring Vikings for almost four quarters and holding them to their lowest point total of the year, as they had done to almost every opponent. However, turnovers plagued the Spartans once again. Joe DiBuonaventura sparkled from his safety position, making big hits.

The Viking offense and the Spirit defense could propel both teams to the state championships together for the first time ever.

Detroit vs. Houston play – where were the other six refs?

Much has been written about Detroit’s loss to Houston and Coach Jim Schwartz’s illegal flag preventing the replay that would have overturned the touchdown and given Detroit the win. Little or nothing has been written about the official who did not blow the whistle to kill the play, nor about the other six officials.

Let’s set the play. Houston’s Justin Forset was obviously tackled when both his knee and elbow hit the ground after a seven-yard gain. However, since there was no whistle, he got up, spun, and raced for an 81-yard touchdown. Both teammates and Detroit players, sure that he was down, stood around watching him run for what would be the winning touchdown.

Let’s analyze the play from the official’s reaction. The covering official was not so sure that the runner was down and he did not blow the play dead. Any other official could have also blown their whistles, but they did not. I guess that they all felt the play would be overturned from the replay booth. However, when coach threw the challenge flag, he committed a foul which negated the press box review of the play. This was not the intention of the rule and it will be changed.

When did the covering official know he had blown the call? I believe almost immediately, especially when he saw the defense make no attempt to tackle the runner. As a former official I have been in that position where you know that you made a bad call and it’s too late to reverse it. In this case the covering official was hoping that the press box review would bail him out. No one except the Detroit coach, team, and fans felt worse than the officials, who I’m sure spent a sleepless night.

Hockey makes a miraculous return to Boardwalk Hall

As many as 10,700 fans saw Joe Watson with his wife and children at his side drop the puck in the ceremonial opening of the debut of NFL Hockey to Atlantic City on Saturday night. Few people realize that Watson, an executive at Caesar’s, pulled off one of the greatest miracles in sports history. Watson contacted professional hockey players who are being locked out, and in eight days assembled two teams and brought them across the country to play before almost 11,000 fans in Atlantic City to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to support the victims of Hurricane Sandy. Put Watson in charge of the lockout and we’d see NFL hockey in a very short time.

Imagine planning and coordinating an event of this magnitude (that normally would take place over a year in advance) in eight days. Kudos to Joe, Don, Caesar’s, Boardwalk Hall, and all involved in the Miracle of Mississippi Avenue.

Turning back the pages…

Boardwalk Hall drew more than 10,000 fans in 1933 to see an amateur hockey game. The hall may be considered the birthplace of ice hockey in New Jersey. Both Atlantic High and Holy Spirit had ice hockey teams in the 1930s, when hockey was king in Atlantic City.

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