The biggest football hits at every level — high school, college football and NFL — can probably be described with one of these phrases. On Friday nights alone, we’ve seen pulverizing tackles, referees that lower their shoulders and disgruntled players who take out their frustrations on refs.
What ever happened to good, clean tackle football? In one Connecticut high school football game, a player was ejected for a legal yet monster hit.
Markese Woods Hit & Ejection
Norwalk High School and Trumbull High School were engulfed in a battle in 2017 when a nasty hit stopped play in the fourth quarter.
Norwalk ran a short pass play out to star wide receiver AJ Hall. When he turned around to run with the ball, he was obliterated by Trumbull defender Markese Woods.
The entire crowd at the game yelled in horror. No. 23 walks away from the hit like he’s Sean Taylor while his teammate throws his hands up as if to say “was that really necessary, dude?”
Meanwhile, Hall is down on the field for almost three minutes while trainers checked on him. Players kneel around him hoping he wouldn’t be seriously injured. Norwalk head coach Sean Ireland did the same.
“I heard it,” Ireland told The Norwalk Hour of the hit. “I was kind of shielded. I saw the kid coming in and I heard it, and I was out there before the refs even blew it dead. He was conscious. According to (Hall), he was ready to go back in.”
Woods, the player who laid the hit, was immediately ejected by referees. He was also forced to miss the team’s following game.
In real-time, the hit looked nasty. Slow it down and pause it right before impact and you’ll see that Woods led with his shoulder, which shouldn’t warrant a penalty or ejection of any kind.
Here’s a screen shot:
Is it really the defender’s fault he hits so hard that it looked like a dirty hit? Or was that the quarterback’s fault for leading his receiver into a situation like that?
There’s no doubt Woods could have simply wrapped him up and drove him to the ground instead of laying the boom. But leading with his shoulder and hitting Hall in the chest is exactly how you’re supposed to tackle.
Obviously he was tossed from the field, but was that the correct call? You be the judge.