Saturday, October 25, 2014
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situations Sometimes scoring can be counterproductive

Scoring a touchdown in football isn't always a good thing
Posted on Nov. 11, 2013 at 12:00 a.m. | Updated on Nov. 11, 2013 at 5:54 p.m.

A few weeks ago, I witnessed one of the craziest football finishes one could imagine. It occurred at the ninth-grade level. So as not to humiliate the losing side I will call the teams Red and Green.

With about a minute to go in the game, the Red side was leading 21-20 (having rallied from being behind 20-0) and was in possession of the ball around its own 20 yard line with the Green team having one time out left. If Red gets a first down, Green cannot prevent it from running out the clock. On third down and about 15, the Red ball carrier scampers for the first down. Game over, right? It should have been, except for one thing: Instead of going down with the ball, which would have secured the victory, he runs the length of the field and scores because the defense (smartly) lets him. The extra point is blocked; the score is now 27-20 with about 45 seconds left.

Then, the Green team runs back the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown and succeeds on a 2-point conversion to take a 28-27 lead with about 30 seconds left. After the kickoff, Red is backed up to about its own 20. Four consecutive incomplete passes later, the Green team takes over and does the sensible thing, taking the kneel-down because Red is out of time outs, having used them earlier. So there you have it: A football team scoring a game-losing touchdown.

Put a jersey on a kid, place him on a football field and give him a ball, naturally he wants to run to the end zone with it and score a touchdown; I get that. However, there’s a time to score and there’s a time when scoring is actually counterproductive. Know the situation!

Jim Rohm

Elkhart


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