Cade has his yards, but TSSAA still needs better rules

Johnson City Press • Oct 25, 2019 at 7:15 AM

With five games in the loss column already, Ooltewah’s coaches had little reason to complete the Aug. 23 suspended game against David Crockett’s Pioneers.

On Wednesday, the Southeast Tennessee team agreed to let the 19-16 score stand as a final in Crockett’s favor. The game was halted late in the third quarter because of lightning. At the time, the teams made plans to finish the game at a neutral site later in the season — but only if it mattered for playoff-seeding purposes for either team.

Obviously it didn’t matter for Ooltewah.

It mattered a lot, though, for standout Pioneers quarterback Cade Larkins, who has a chance to break Tennessee’s all-time high school passing record this season. The 180 yards he gained that night are now in his total, which stands at 10,284 yards.

Larkins would need 839 yards to break the record. Only two games remain in the regular season, but at 7-1, Crockett just needs to win one of those for at least one appearance in the playoffs. Without taking sides in the cross-county rivalry with Daniel Boone in tonight’s annual Musket Bowl, we’re rooting for Larkins to set the mark.

Had the Aug. 23 game gone uncounted, his quest would have been a lot tougher, and that’s because the Tennessee Secondary Schools Athletic Association has a boneheaded policy when it comes to settling suspended games.

As we stated Sept. 8, the TSSAA should revise its policy with a few new standards for suspended games. If play is past the third quarter, call the game officially complete regardless of score. If play is suspended prior to that point, give the trailing team the option of committing to a date to finish the game or forfeiting.

End the guesswork. Count the stats.

Ooltewah did the right thing. Now it’s the TSSAA’s turn.

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