Texas high school coach Tim Buchanan benched his starters after only 21 plays, kept to a conservative ground game and even allowed the clock to run uninterrupted after halftime to hasten the final whistle. Still, his Bearcats won 91-0.
Now the coach is facing formal accusations of bullying.
The impressive victory for undefeated Aledo High School, a football powerhouse in suburban Fort Worth that has put up similar numbers against other schools, has forced an investigation after a parent from the opposing team filed a bullying complaint. The complaint, which must be investigated under state law, says Buchanan should have done more to prevent the lopsided score.
"It wasn't good for anybody," Buchanan said of the Friday win over Western Hills in a Class 4A matchup. "I've sat and gone over and over and over it on what we could have done differently. The score could have very easily been 150 to nothing."
Western Hills coach John Naylor told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that he disagreed with the bullying allegation, which Buchanan said suggested his coaches "should have made their players ease up and quit playing that hard."
Under state law, Aledo's principal must investigate the complaint and prepare a report. The complaint was filed with the school district, which the law requires to provide bullying complaint forms on its websites.
The University Interscholastic League, the governing body for high school sports in Texas, only has a mercy rule for six-man football that ends a game when one team gets ahead by 45 points by halftime or later. There is no mercy rule for 11-man football, though coaches can agree to end a game early, UIL spokeswoman Kate Hector said.