More West Covina-Covina redux … Salgado fumble? Who’s call is it? What’s with all the cramping? Was Covina lucky to even be in the game? …

NOTE: This game was too good and had so many side stories that I just can’t pass up adding more commentary about it.

We’ve got proof: After watching Tommy Kiss’ video highlights of the game, I just can’t sit on this any longer. (Watch the video at 2:57 to see the play). I was standing at the perfect angle to see Aaron Salgado’s game-winning touchdown and watching it live I said “he fumbled” … and while watching the sideline referee run in I was thinking “he’s gonna call this a fumble”, but before anybody could blink, the ref on the opposite side of the field ruled it was a touchdown. Is that his call? And how did he see it? And how did he have a better angle than the ref on my side of the field or myself or Tommy Kiss, who was video-ing it from near where I was? And did the ref on my side of the field have any say in the matter? Now I know it was Week 0 for the refs, too. And they aren’t perfect JUST LIKE THE REST OF US, but I still don’t understand how the other guy made the call. Again, my beef isn’t really with the call, it’s with who made it and why. And that there wasn’t at least a discussion.

Cramping my style:
My next point of contention is all the cramping. In the fourth quarter, when Covina had momentum, I noticed Colts coach Darryl Thomas was demonstratively yelling out across the field to the refs or maybe even to West Covina during an injury timeout. I didn’t get a chance to talk with Coach Thomas after the game because I had to fly back to the office to write my story on deadline. But I know what was going on. West Covina was cramping on nearly EVERY PLAY in the fourth quarter and I think Thomas was getting sour about the interruption of game flow. I’ve covered A LOT of game and I’ve NEVER seen anything like it. I’m not saying it was intentional. It could be that the Bulldogs are the worst-hydrated team in the Valley. Coach Mike Maggiore and his staff are very much class acts, so I give them the benefit of the doubt. And it should be noted I saw Salgado and Jimmy Frazier stretching in between plays or during timeouts. I doubt they’d be doing that if they weren’t truly having issues. But regardless, I blame the referees again for this … Or better yet I blame the rules. Something needs to be done to GET THE PLAYERS OFF THE FIELD. Don’t interrupt the flow of the game to the point that we’re taking 3-5 minute breaks between each play. I truly believe the refs are hamstrung by the rules, so maybe the rules need doctoring. Are there any refs out there who can clarify this? I don’t expect an officiating crew to play doctor and determine how long a kid needs to be down on the field, and for what type of injury, but man it was a buzzkill to have so much delay interrupt the flow of a great game.

Speaking of flukes: Was Covina lucky to even be in the game? I think so. The Colts scored their three touchdown on three big plays and not three sustained drives. Covina’s first TD was set up on a fumble by West Covina QB Jon Najera, who nobody knew at the time was dealing with a head injury that sent him to the hospital. West Covina was trying to run out the clock with under 10 seconds to go in the half wjhen Najera fumbled shortly after the snap, giving Covina one play from the WC 20. Colts QB Billy Livingston found receiver Justin Mason in the back of the end zone on a fade as time expired. That was a gift from the football gods. Then, Covina got a 70-yard TD pass from Livingston to Vinny Vengas after a coverage breakdown. Then, with just over a minute left, Livingston found Peter De La Cruz behind the defense and dropped in a beautiful pass to him for the over-the-shoulder catch and TD. Those three scoring plays, while showing Covina has big-strike potential, are not confidence-inspiring drives. They’re a senior QB, who throws one of the best deep balls around and has a knack for finding mistakes in the secondary. It should be noted that Covina had a deep drive into WC territory that was stopped on downs. But I thought West Covina’s defense really dominated the night except for two stellar passes and one bad situation created by the offense.

  • refs are basically “volunteers”

    At the Badger 7×7 in vegas, the refs actually looked at a parent video and changed a call that reversed who won, sure it was not a game but they did it. tape shows Nelson clearly scored at the goaline but B Tech got the call and the win, Salgado fumbled but got the TD and th win. HS football will always be an imperfect encounter, 2 of the 3 td’s from Pomona that were called back looked very suspicious though, being 41-0 shouldnt matter when making a correct call

  • Colt74

    Aram,
    Both teams have completely different styles. WesCo is a run at you, wear you down offense. Covina is a look for a weakness and capitalize offense. Why is one better than the other?

    Covina had moments of brilliance followed by minutes of mediocrity. WesCo had sustained pound it out. Frazier took care of business. Outstanding performance!

    Covina needs to work on their D and turning the outside in. WesCo needs to drink water on the sidelines. But their offense controlled the clock and did not afford the water break luxury. Did you notice the refs took a time out to give the teams a mandatory water break. GREAT CALL!

    I agree that we were lucky to be in that game at the end. Covina is better than they played last night. But sometimes I’ll take lucky over good. And you would too.

    I wish that Covina and WesCo would do this every year. The area deserves it. Just ask ANYONE who was there last night. I was GREAT for the communities!
    No second guessing in football. You take what you get and move on. It was a great win for the Bulldogs.

  • Aaron

    Drinking water on sidelines actually will not help you. By the time you need the water it’s always too late, hydration for games starts the weekend prior…drinking water should be something that’s like playing video games…but I doubt they grab a cup and fill from the tap when they’re playing Madden on Sunday afternoon.

  • Observantcat

    WoW, looking at the video is like looking at the Rodney King beating all over again. Proof that cannot be denied but irrelevant once the whistle is blown. Great game either way but I still think the VVL is up for grabs. My prediction Pomona vs. Covina. Whoever has the best athletes standing at the end of the fourth quarter is going to win that league.

  • Dan

    Aram, remember that the ball only has to “touch” the vertical plane on the FRONT side of the goal line, he does not need to reach through the line into the green grass in the endzone, the ball or any part of his body also does not need to touch the ground in the endzone but like I said it only has to touch the vertical plane.
    If you put the video on full screen, and watch the slow motion part of the video it looks like Salgado does just barely touch the plane before he is pushed back by the defender. Take a few times to look over this slow motion part and if you look close, just before #44 from WC blocks the view of the camera you can see Salgado sneeking thru just to the left of #44 and it looks like he touches the plane. Also if you time it right, try to hit the pause button just as Salgado comes into view on the left side of #44, he is there only for a split second so it will take you a few try’s [It took me several] but if you time it right you get a still shot and you can see where the ball could be breaking the plane. I was able to do this and catch a still shot as the ball is right up against the front of the plane and you can see the defenders hand about 8 to 12 inches away just before it pushes the ball back. Aram, play around with the pause button long for a while on this and tell us what you think.

  • Observantcat

    Hey Dan…. long time no hear from dispute, but this one was a gift from the Ref Gods. I would have even called this one if Monrovia had been in the same situation. But never the less both teams played to their talents and looking at it from a totally neutral point of view, I would say that most of the real efforts came from the West Covina side. When your best player is seated on the bench because of injury and you still win, you deserve the win. Seems like Covina may struggle a bit with depth on their team this season. It makes me wonder about that VVL matchup between CO vs. PO, it may be more real that we want to think.

  • Dan

    O-Cat,
    I tell you if you watch the slow motion replay on the video, and hit the pause button enough times you will get a still shot of the ball as it touches the front of the plane, spend a few times and try to get a good still shot on this and if your honest about it you can see that its either touching the plane or so close that he could have reached the plane before the defenders hand would have reached the ball to push it loose. The call was close enough to go either way.
    Aram, the ref on the other side had an unobstructed view, unlike your video man, who’s view was obstructed by #44 of WC, thats why the ref on this side of the video did not signal because he probably didn’t have a clear view.
    Even if the refs had mistakenly called it a fumble, I don’t think Covina gets the ball at the goal line but instead would have started on their 25 yardline.

  • http://www.insidesocal.com/sgvfootball Aram

    Dan,

    I’m not seeing what you are. You are correct, though, no guarantees Covina scores and they certainly would not take over at the 1 or 2. They would start at the 25, but they would need any score, even a field goal to win it.

    I don’t agree that the other ref had an unobstructed view and the ref on my side was running in. I want to know what he was going to call. Was he going to signal TD? Was he gonna rule it a fumble because myself, Tommy and that particular ref were all viewing it from nearly the same angle and Tommy and I both thought “fumble”.

  • colt76

    blah,blah,blah,so many arm chair qb,s.Stop over analyzing these games.First off somebody is going to have more points than the other team ,they win!!end of story ,it doesnt matter how they earned those points,grind it out or a 70yard bomb.both teams played well ,WC came out on top this time,end of story!!Lets move on!!Just hope there will be some more games this season as exciting as the one on Saturday.We can only hope ,regardless who,s on the winning end!!

  • Dan

    Aram,
    Its there right around the 3:15/3:16 mark of the video. I can get it real easy now. Just as #44 Franklin from WC is about to cross the goaline Salgado and the ball appear on his left side at waist level for a brief second. I can see the ball at the plane, I can see the defenders arm on its way to pushing the ball out of Aaron arms. I can also see a clear shot all the way to the other sideline and the ref on the other sideline. Keep playing with the pause button long enough and you should see it. Believe me if it wasn’t there I would have no problem calling it a fumble.

  • bfan

    This game should have ended at the final gun in the 4th qtr. Should not have gone to overtime. What’s the point and kids from WC were already cramping. Would have been awful to have a major player injured in overtime in a practice game.20-20 tie and a kiss from your sister would have been ok.

  • West Covina Dad

    I watched the replay. We did not score and it appears to be a fumble. I think that we played well enough to win but this mistake by the officials just takes a little shine off the whole evening. I have never been a proponent of overtime in high school sports unless it involves a championship. Instances such as last night only strengthen my opinion.

  • New York

    Save this film clip for next year’s game promo…how should we refer to this through out the year, or next year? “The non-call”??? lol.

    Nice game guys. You played hard. Good luck to both teams this season.

  • RG

    Ask Rowland from two years ago if West Covina is too classy to benefit from injuries in close games.

  • Dan

    No Shine will be taken away from our win at all West Covina Dad, the ref made the right call, Salgado crossed into the front of the plane of the endzone. I’m a passionate Bulldog backer but I’m honest too, and I have no problem calling it a fumble if it was a fumble. I won’t back down on this cause it’s in the video, not gonna let you boy’s take any shine off our young mens victory, the td was legit.
    Keep pausing the slow motion part of the video at 3:15/3:16 mark and you will eventually get the still shot of the ball crossing the front part of the plane,it’s only for a brief second just to the left of #44′s waist as his right foot is about to cross into the endzone, just do a little work and you can eventually pause it at the perfect moment.
    If someone could tell me how to get a paused still shot from the video onto this blog I will post it for all of you to see.
    Also remember it only has to be a small part of the ball that crosses the front part of the white line to be a touchdown.

  • Hmmmmm…

    Anyone with the game film watch the first “injury”. Kid all by himself. Limping, then stops holding his left foot up. Coach M comes out talked to kid and then walks back. Does not help kid walk back. Kid tries
    To walk but can not. Hoping on one foot. 15 seconds later 2 girls come out and help kid off the field. Watch it yourself. If this kid was hurt why did the coach not help? We in the stands were all asking why coach M just walked away and left kid.

  • Joe Amat

    As much as I like a good conspiracy theory – I’m with Dan on this one. Take a look at this pic http://pic.twitter.com/DTqT6R0

  • Colt74

    The game is over. It’s in the record books but I’ll play devils advocate.

    From the video and or the picture I don’t see the ball touching/crossing/kissing or winking at the plane.
    I see a ref 6 feet away not signal a TD. I see the ref from the camera angle not signal a TD. I see the ref on the far side of the field BEHIND AND COMPLETELY BLOCKED by number 51 during the time in question signal TD After the fact.
    I see not 1 WesCo player celebrating like they scored. And they are right there. Sure, they celebrate AFTER the far ref signals TD.
    Tell me in that picture how the far side ref saw it ? He can see thru #51?
    It “May” have touched the plane? So team A “MAY” score a TD so just give it to them?

    Like I said, it’s in the books. But…..we all see what we see.

  • Joe Amat

    Colt & Dan. I don’t have a ‘Dog or Pony in this fight (bad pun intended) so just trying to be objective. I see the nose of the ball past the goal line & Ref’s shirt & leg in clear view in the circles – and if we can see him “Joe-ometry” says he can see the ball. Notice #51 is in the end zone and the official is coming from the line of scrimmage – so #51 shouldn’t obstruct his view.
    http://pic.twitter.com/q0fVuzi

  • Marquez

    Aram

    It is down on record that you selected Covina to beat the Bulldogs, so your objectivity is somewhat in question.

    Judging by the video posted, I believe any replay officials would judge this as inconclusive and the call on the field would stand.

    By your own admission, high school referees are far from perfect, so it is strange that you seek to somewhat taint the Bulldog’s victory.

    Your comments regarding the cramping situation are much more puzzling however. You stated “But I know what was going on” but yet never really told us. All you really did was provide some theories as to what was going on.

    a) Bulldogs may be worst hydrated team in Valley
    b) Coach Maggiore slowing the “flow” of the game
    c) Blame referees for not getting the kids off the field in [your opinion] a timely manner.

    You really did not know what was going on, did you?

    Finally, I feel that the time it takes to tend to a player’s injury on the field (including cramping) is far more important than “Killing” your “Buzz” because you feel the game is slowing down.

  • Dan

    Joe,
    Thanks for the still shot and support on this, actually this still shot is a little late, the tackler has already made contact, but if you hit the pause a split second earlier, just before the right foot of #44 in the forground crosses the front part of the goaline [in your stillshot his foot has already crossed], you can see the separation between the fullback and the guy tackling him, and you can see the ball clear enough to see the laces and it’s above the goaline. You can also see air space all the way to the other sideline, it takes a few trys but if somebody really wants to see it bad enough they can, I just don’t think they want to see it.
    Salgado scored on this play and he and his teammates deserves the credit for it.

  • Dan

    Aram,
    I’m willing to go into your office and show you on your computers the still shot, if I can’t convince you that you have no conclusive evidence to overturn the TD I will buy you lunch of your choice, If I do convince you, you buy my lunch. Just make sure the video is as clear as the one on Freds Blog.

  • Colt74

    Joe,
    I respect the heck out of you but someone could put a gun to my head and I STILL would not see what you and Dan supposedly see. I was able to copy the video and watch it on my hd laptop frame by frame and can’t come to the conclusions that you both do. If I saw what you guys do I would say so. I see the ball get close and then it gets stripped.
    It’s moot anyway. WesCo won and we move on. Even if everyone in the world watched the video and agreed that it did not cross NOTHING WOULD CHANGE. I say just let it go.

  • Colt74

    Let me add… Before we play we agree to follow the refs instructions and live by their decisions. Refs are not perfect and video replay is not available. Every team gets lucky calls and every team gets bad calls. It’s part of the game. Last weeks game. This week Covina has Happy Rock and WesCo has Loyola. That is all that matters.

  • cramping my azzz

    That was intentional Aram!!! Delaying the game to allow their players a break. Here’s why. Bulldog player down. WC trainers saunter out on the field like two lovers being out on a nature hike. Water reaches the team before the trainers reach the injured player. one play later, the player is back in the game and another “injured” player repeats the process. Whatever happened to DELAY OF GAME.

  • Dan

    Colt 74,
    Its tough to see in Joes still shot cause at that point it’s a little blurry, I can go to the video on Freds site and get a clearer still shot within 3 or 4 hits on the pause button on full screen mode, clear enough so that you can see the laces on the ball, and how the ball is above someones foot that is positioned directly on the goaline. I tell you what, if Aram will allow it, I’m willing to meet both you and Aram at the tribune to show the both of you, if I can’t convince the both of you that there is no conclusive evidence that would negate the touchdown, breakfast or lunch is on me. If I do convince the both of you then you guy’s split the bill, but more important, Aram has to vindicate the West Covina boys by admitting on his blog that the ref made a good call, the WC boys deserve vindication from this air of doubt that has been put out there by this apparent fumble that really wasn’t a fumble. Are you guy’s game?

  • Dan

    Dan,
    I don’t think that the WesCo boys need any vindication. The Video proves or disproves nothing IMHO. It’s from the sideline. It’s at a slight angle and players block the field of view. Dragging this any further will just open up a can of worms. Do we review every play of every game that someone videos of every game to see if we/the refs missed something?
    If Covina really thought that they got short changed and the video backed up their claim they would protest. 1. They won’t because it would do no good. 2. They won’t because they accept the decision that was made on the field. 3. They won’t because they are warriors just like the Bulldogs who leave it all on the field not in front of a video. We both left it on the field Saturday night and the Bulldogs prevailed. That should be the end of story.
    I’ll buy you and Aram lunch if this gets dropped! LOL. I admire your conviction and I think that you should meet with Aram and if you have proof show him. But, lets take this to the flip side…what if you don’t convince him? Does anything change? We are right back at the same place.
    I don’t need any proof. The refs signaled TD and that is good enough for me.
    It was a great game and I IMHO feel that any more of this yes or no stuff detracts from it.
    I truly believe that we all are doing West Covina a disservice by still discussing this. Let people think what they want…the SCOREBOARD is the ultimate truth.

    This video does not bother me. What bothers me is that in our game Solo got hurt and will miss the Loyola game. That’s not cool. I WANT WesCo to beat Loyola.
    1. I’m a WesCo fan
    2. Covinas stock rises when you beat Loyola.
    3. So beat the crap out of Loyola!
    4. We played you…we know you can!

  • Colt74

    That last post is from me. Why it says from Dan ??????????

  • http://www.insidesocal.com/sgvfootball Aram

    Dan,

    You’re always welcome to come down to the Tribune and show us. But remember, my overall point isn’t really whether he fumbled or not. Good calls and bad calls will help/hurt teams all season. And refs are human. My beef is that the wrong guy made the call. The right guy was running to make a call (fumble or TD, we’ll never know) and there was never a discussion by the refs at all. That’s my problem.

  • ????

    Once again I will say this real slow for you ARAM, last I checked when an offical sees a fumble they drop their bean bag to indicate fumble. I didn’t see no bean bag did you? So we would all have to assume the offical didn’t see a clear fumble so he didn’t make the call. Now since you were on the west side of the field how in the heck do you know what the offical on the east side saw or didn’t see, he did make the call, end of story.

    Grow Up!

  • Football Fan

    Aram

    Did you ever stop to consider that the ref you believe had the better view and should have made the call, actually saw it as a TD also???? Therefore no need for discussion, the call was made and he agreed.

    And who are you to say that there was no way the other ref could have seen it? Put 10 people in the same room side by side show them the film and you’l get diff opinions, angles, and experiences at making the call. Give the ref some credit.

    Let it go…. lol. Good for your blog I guess.

  • Football Fan

    Aram

    Did you ever stop to consider that the ref you believe had the better view and should have made the call, actually saw it as a TD also???? Therefore no need for discussion, the call was made and he agreed.

    And who are you to say that there was no way the other ref could have seen it? Put 10 people in the same room side by side show them the film and you’l get diff opinions, angles, and experiences at making the call. Give the ref some credit.

    Let it go…. lol. Good for your blog I guess.