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New tiebreaker rule changes football landscape

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Posted: Thursday, October 3, 2002 10:00 pm

The days of high school football games ending in ties in the San Joaquin Athletic Association are no more.

Last month, the California tiebreaker rule was initiated and Tokay and Lodi both experienced the new sudden-death format last week in SJAA action.

It is the same format as used in the Sac-Joaquin section playoffs.

Sac-Joaquin Commissioner Pete Saco said the SJAA is the first league he is aware of instituting the controversial system. Most schools play a tiebreaker even though the game goes down in the books as a tie, he said.

The reason is that if two teams end tied for a playoff spot the tiebreaker comes into play.

Under the new rule, both teams are guaranteed one possession with four plays on the opponent's 10-yard line. However, if a penalty is called on fourth down, the offense is awarded an extra play.

No clock is kept just like in the collegiate format and the game goes on until one team outscores the other, meaning that a final outcome can require multiple possessions.

The Tigers and Flames didn't have to go past the first round, however.

Tokay held Stagg on fourth-and-1 and scored on a Dravon Adams' 3-yard run to win the game outright 20-16.

Lodi opened with a Nick Loya 23-yard field goal, but a Yellowjacket false start on fourth-and-2 forced an extra play. Franklin then gambled on fourth-and-7 and Richard Davis came through with a catch over three Flame defenders to provide the difference.

Lodi coach Todd Dillon said that even though the new rule came back to bite his team, he thinks it's a good system.

"It's a good rule and I'm glad we got to experience it early in the season," Dillon said. "You don't want to experience it for the first time in the playoffs."

The rule is a disadvantage for defenses and he would rather see the offenses get the ball at the opponent's 20-yard line, Dillon said.

The fact that a Franklin penalty gave the Yellowjackets another life is part of the rule that should be amended, he said.

"That way it would force the offense to get a first down to kick a field goal," Dillon said. "And the defense would have more room to work with."

Tennis match rescheduled

The Tokay and Lodi girls tennis match Tuesday was rescheduled for Oct. 16.

"Tokay coach (Pete) Flanders and three of his players were going to be out of town," Lodi coach Nicole Barron said. "So we went ahead and rescheduled the match."

Lodi Unified schools are currently on a two-week break.

Edison receives sanctions

The SJAA sanctions against Edison were put into effect this week.

Under the sanctions, the Vikings football program is banned from the postseason and competing for a SJAA championship this year.

With the ruling all games against Edison are counted as nonleague games, meaning they have no barring on the SJAA standings.

SJAA Commissioner Randy Snider said he mailed a letter to Principal Mike Hernandez and also sent a copy to Sac-Joaquin Commissioner Pete Saco.

The Stockton Record reported that football coach Booker Guyton and Hernandez have said the school will appeal the decision.

Edison was cited for numerous violations, including using ineligible players, ineligible summer players, using football equipment during a dead period, and conducting illegal spring practices, Snider said.

The result was a unanimous vote by the league's other nine schools to put the Vikings on probation.

Flames shoot for playoffs

Lodi's boys water polo team, in a fight for one of four SJAA playoff bids, did its part on Thursday with a 9-6 victory over St. Mary's.

With the win the Flames (13-7, 7-2 SJAA) sit in sole possession of third place behind Lincoln (8-1 SJAA) and cross-town rival Tokay, which is on top of the SJAA with a perfect 8-0 mark.

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