This Just In ...

Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely young daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.

Did Franklin run up the score against South Milwaukee?

Franklin coach Jeff Klemp looks on as his Sabers battle host South Milwaukee. Photo credit: Dave Haberkorn

South Milwaukee coach John Galewski encourages his team against Franklin. Photo credit: Dave Haberkorn

There’s a bit of a blog squabble going on in the comments section of the FranklinNOW article about Franklin’s 45-27 playoff victory Saturday against South Milwaukee. Dominated by typical rude and nasty comments when the posters are anonymous, there are two schools, if you will, of thought:

1) South Milwaukee fans (at least the ones writing in) think Franklin ran up the score.

2) Franklin fans (at least the ones writing in) think South Milwaukee wasn’t very classy and simply isn’t as good as the Sabers.

Regular readers of my blog know how much I hate piling on. I even dedicated a segment about the topic when I guest hosted at WISN this fall that drew emotional feedback from both sides.

I knew the day was coming when I might be moved to answer if the high-flying pass-oriented Sabers had run up the score.

Let’s review.

At halftime, Franklin led by only 17-14 against a team the week before had made a remarkable come from behind victory against Pius marked by a last second 52 yard field goal.

In the third quarter, Franklin struck through the air to take a 24-14 lead into the fourth quarter. Franklin scored on two more passes in the final period, then scored again on a long fumble recovery to make it 45-14. South Milwaukee then scrambled to score twice to make the final 45-27.

One of the few insightful comments made on the FranklinNOW article recapping the game comes from a writer identified as Coach Wood:

3:55 left in the game, Franklin leads 31-14 and it's their ball at midfield or so. They've clearly seized momentum and look to be running out the clock.

(Franklin head coach) Klemp calls timeout. Coming out of the timeout, QB hits a receiver streaking deep down the SM sideline for a touchdown.

Now, an argument could be made that they were afraid of SM coming back-- after all, that's exactly what happened against Pius the week before. I wouldn't buy that for a second, though.

I've seen a lot of football from the field, the sidelines, the box and the stands and you can tell when a game is won. Franklin had the ball, a three-score lead, and momentum. That timeout, followed by that deep ball, had ‘piling on’ written all over it.

High-school football should be about character, sportsmanship, and turning boys into men. That play was about none of those things.”

Another comment referring to Franklin:

“3:50 left...throw a bomb......CLASSLESS ALL THE WAY...........”

So, did Franklin run up the score or not?

If “Coach Wood” is factual in his comments above, that Franklin had the ball at midfield, up three TD’s with under four minutes to play and tossed a bomb down the sidelines, in my view, that was unnecessary and uncalled for. However, “running up the score” or “piling on” usually, not always, but usually involves a series of plays and scores. This was a single play that clearly in the scheme of the entire game does not meet the definition of a team rubbing it in. Franklin’s last score came on a turnover and Franklin did take knees at the very end after putting in subs.

Also, Franklin fans writing in to suggest South Milwaukee should not have tried to score at the end of the game to make the final more respectable are wrong. Of course South Milwaukee is trying to, if not win, make the game closer. Good for them.

South Milwaukee took timeouts when Franklin was taking a knee. That, too, fails the sportsmanship test.

Add it all up and you have the ugly, anonymous commentary on FranklinNOW. This is not what high school football is supposed to be about.

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