TUPELO, Miss. (AP) — Mooreville won its season-opener Friday night, 26-10 over visiting Tishomingo County. It hardly felt like a win, coach Kevin Austin said immediately after the game. He reiterated that Monday.
"That's irrelevant at this point. I don't feel like we won at all. Both sides lost. Both are going to get punished. It's embarrassing," Austin said.
Embarrassing because a fourth-quarter fight resulted in three player ejections. A Tishomingo County assistant was ejected on a six-flag play before the scrum.
The Mississippi High School Activities Association is sure to hand down punishments.
Both teams submitted game video on Monday. Tishomingo coach Lanny Jones said he expects to hear consequences soon.
Two Mooreville players and one Tishomingo player were ejected. Austin said he's only had two players ejected in seven years, for scuffles nowhere near the size of the pile on his field Friday. He expects the punishment to — at the very least — be a game for the two ejected players.
"I haven't been in a situation like this. That would be the best case scenario," Austin said. "It could be anything up to anybody who left the sideline."
If that's the case he said, the Troopers might not have enough to play Friday against visiting Nettleton.
Fans may have gotten on the field, but Austin said the film doesn't provide a great angle and it was hard to tell what was going on as he and both teams were trying to get everyone back to their sidelines.
Both coaches said this was new territory and obviously said they don't condone or encourage the incident. Both have admitted embarrassment.
"I think a lot of factors (went into it)," Austin said. "It was hot. They were tired, on edge anyway. Their (assistant) coach getting ejected got everybody riled up. Everybody was on edge."
Jones agrees on those factors, but also says a fumbled Mooreville point after attempt may have unintentionally ignited it as well.
Jones said his guys jumped on the fumble, near the Mooreville holder and that a Mooreville player may have thrown a punch trying to protect his holder. He said the Mooreville player may not have even known the ball was loose and that the Tishomingo players were trying for the ball, not piling on his holder.
Jones said he can really only speak for his team. He wasn't able to focus on what was happening on the Mooreville side. He said his player ejection came from the only Braves player to leave the bench.
"We talk about it in preseason, what to do (if that happens), don't clear the bench. It's nothing you really ever say after that one time," Jones said.
Information from: Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, http://djournal.com