As many of you probably know, there is a mercy rule in prep baseball and softball.
There is none of course in Ohio high school football.
But maybe there should be.
If not a mercy rule, then at least a running clock rule in a blowout situation when the opposing head coaches consent to it beforehand.
Last Friday night, the Marietta High football team was routed by New Philadelphia, 58-7, at Woody Hayes Quaker Field. The Tigers and Quakers were actually tied 7-7 at the end of the first quarter. But the game got uglier and out of hand as it progressed.
At halftime, MHS trailed 24-7. It wasn't an insurmountable lead, and the Tigers still had the entire second half to stage a comeback.
It, of course, never happened.
New Philly scored three touchdowns in the third quarter to stretch its advantage to 45-7. Marietta was facing a 38-point deficit at the start of the fourth quarter, and if you thought the Tigers could erase that and win the game, then you probably also believe in gridiron ghosts, too.
The contest probably should have been halted at the end of three, or there should have been a running clock in the final period.
How bad do you have to beat somebody to win?
Ever hear of kicking a team when it's down? Well, that's what happened to Marietta.
New Philadelphia really can't be faulted, because the Quakers obviously were the better team - and there was no mercy rule or running clock in place.
Marietta was not the only school to get thumped last Friday night. If you looked at the statewide scores, there were a lot of blowouts. In this area, Waterford was blanked 30-0 by Wahama, Belpre was drilled 52-25 by Trimble, Monroe Central clobbered River 54-7, and Parkersburg Catholic shut out St. Marys 35-0.
Word is, there are a lot of Ohio prep football coaches opposed to ending a game early. Why, if it's good for baseball and softball coaches, can't it be good for football coaches, too?
High school football is a good sport - but then so are baseball, softball, basketball, soccer, wrestling, hockey, cross country, golf, swimming, tennis, volleyball, and track and field - in other words, all sports.
Just look at all of the injuries that could possibly be prevented on the gridiron with a mercy rule. Ever hear of "survive to tackle another Friday?"
Remember, a lopsided game is only fun for one team. It's about as enjoyable as burnt toast for the team getting creamed.
Ridiculous. That wasn't competition - but annihilation.
This was one of those football games that was close until it started.
Ron Johnston is the Marietta Times sports editor, and can be reached at 376-5441, or at firstname.lastname@example.org