QUINCY — The stars were out and shining brightly in Tuesday night’s EMass Division 2A football semifinal at Braintree High. Unfortunately, the brilliance of Plymouth South’s Dylan Oxsen (317 rushing yards, 5 touchdowns) and Natick’s Troy Flutie (17 of 25 passing for 278 yards and 4 TDs) was eclipsed on Wednesday by the controversy surrounding Natick’s use of a non-approved football, one that was easier for Flutie to grip in bad weather. The MIAA ruled Wednesday that the Red Hawks snowy 38-33 snowy victory will stand. – Natick who was penalized 15 yards when officials were alerted to the problem late in the fourth quarter – will play Beverly in the EMass Div. 2A Super Bowl on Saturday at Gillette Stadium. Both Natick and Plymouth South used a Wilson GST ball during the regular season. However, MIAA rules require all teams to use a Spalding J5V ball for playoff games. Before kickoff, a game official mistakenly gave Natick permission to use the Wilson ball. Plymouth South AD said athletic directors for every playoff team were given a J5V ball at a meeting on Monday at which time the rule was clearly spelled out.“I know (Natick) asked the official, and the official gave them permission, but come on,” Fry said. “They knew the rules. They were at the same meeting I was at … Eighteen teams played on Tuesday night; seventeen used the tournament ball, and one team didn’t.” “The other thing,” Fry said, “is any time you practice with something for 16 weeks and you’re able to use it (versus) practicing with something for one week, I think that creates an unfair advantage, don’t you?
“If I’m using the same 9-iron for 15 weeks and you have to use a different one, I think I’ve got an advantage.”
First of all this is a ridiculously stupid rule. How do you change footballs from the regular season to the playoffs? If the ball isn’t approved for the playoffs it shouldn’t be approved for the regular season. Only the MIAA would do something that stupid. Make teams play with the same freaking ball the entire year. It’s pretty fucking simple. But having said that Natick and the Fluties cheated plain and simple. There isn’t a doubt in my mind that the old ball was easier for Flutie to throw so they stuck with it. Anybody who knows anything about footballs know that gripability makes a pretty big difference. I mean give me one of those Hutch footballs or an Nerf Turbo and I can rifle that thing 100 yards on a dime. Give me an NFL football and I can’t complete a 10 yard out. The score was 38-33 in the snow. One pass that wobbles a little bit can change the outcome. The fact that Natick asked before the game if they could use the old ball proves they knew they weren’t allowed to. I think you have to give the victory to Plymouth South in this case. Fucking Fluties man. You got to keep your eye on those motherfuckers at all times.