East County Sports

Guilty of a questionable hit?

WATCH THIS VIDEO FOR 20 SECONDS: and then you'll see it. The Hit. The block laid on Marcos Munez knocked him...

Posted by 10News – ABC San Diego KGTV on Monday, September 28, 2015

By Chris Davis

© East County Sports.com

EL CAJON (9-29-15) — The aftermath of the devastating hit that DURAN MILLER laid on a Serra Conquistador is coming out now.


To refresh everyone, Miller was coming down the field to help block for a teammate that was returning a punt in the third quarter last Friday.  At the Mount Miguel 49-yard line, Miller came into contact with the Conquistador.


In the report filed with the CIF-San Diego Section the referee of the game suggested a three game suspension for targeting.  On Monday, the CIF-SDS ruled that Miller would serve a one game suspension.


Grossmont Union High School District Superintendent Ralf Swenson released a statement regarding the play:

“We support the decision by the game officials to disqualify the Mount Miguel player for helmet-to-helmet contact.

We also support CIF Commissioner Jerry Schniepp’s decision to suspend that player for one game and as Superintendent, I informed Commissioner Schniepp that I am imposing an additional one game suspension so that together we can send a strong message to all football players in our district as well as all schools in San Diego County, that this kind of rule violation is not acceptable.”


10News led with the story on its 5 p.m. newscast and a Facebook posting of the story had received over 200 comments on Monday evening, most overwhelmingly in support of the Matadors’ defensive star.


Miller, a senior defensive end, posted a comment in the thread, stating, “Thanks for the support… just doing my job.”


Miller had been a menace most of the night to the Serra backfield on defense, registering several tackles for loss and blocking a punt earlier in the contest.


While many posters in the thread deem the hit legal by a pretty wide margin, including comments from some coaches, along with current and former players throughout the region, rules for head-to-head and other dangerous contact have changed recently because of the discoveries made in the advance of determining CTE, a degenerative disease commonly found postmortem in the brains of athletes participating in sports that include head trauma danger.


Officials are now taught to err on the side of caution in regards to what is now referred to as “targeting.”


The circumstances surrounding the play led to some of the controversy, as the game was severely one-sided in the Matadors’ favor, and in most all similar circumstances, a running clock is used to speed up the conclusion of the game. Usually, when a team leads by a substantial 40-point margin, the rule is put into effect. However, no running clock was issued despite Mount Miguel leading, 55-0, at the time of the injury.


The suspension given by the commissioner and the superintendent are not an indictment against Miller’s high-energy, high-impact style of play, but just more as an example set forth by the administrators to set a guideline for the type of hits that may be ruled as dangerous in the future.


Unfortunately for Miller, the play and its result, along with his subsequent two-game suspension, are being used for that example.



  1. Darrell Lewis

    September 29, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    Sad to here this outcome. There was no helmet to helmet contact on this play. You can see clearly that the person hit was hit in the shoulder pads, the player making the block lead with his shoulder and arms. Sad that a teenage boy has to be the one that the example is being made of. I could even see the 1 game suspension by CIF but then to try and add on to that at the student- athletes expense is not in the best interest of anyone. Coaches doing a better job weekly of reinforcing recent rule changes in detail, and teaching other techniques to make this exact block would go a whole lot farther in the interest of safety. I can’t stand watching people trying to make examples out of our student-athletes to make themselves seem as though they’re doing all they can to protect these athletes.

  2. Gary Blossom

    September 29, 2015 at 5:32 pm

    It is a disturbing time in which we now live where a player can be penalized for rules that may be put in place in the future.I support the decision to eject him from the game to err on safety, but the suspension is unwarranted. If you watch the video frame by frame you will see that the actual contact was made with Miller’s shoulder pads. Miller’s helmet is actually in front of the other players. There is no way that if it was helmet to helmet that Miller’s whole body could stay in the completely straight upright position after the hit. This isn’t the first time Serra coaches and administrators have been in the spotlight for questionable actions. Let’s not forget last year when they thought it was okay to dress in black face as the Jamaican bobsled team and previous years when they charged players to be on the team and also misappropriated funds that were supposed to buy new football gear. Some of Serra’s coaches left to go to Mount Miguel so there is some “bad blood” between the teams and I think that is probably why this isolated incident has gotten so much attention.

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