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Guido: CFL's Grey Cup had WPIAL flavor

| Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012, 12:06 a.m.
REUTERS
Toronto Argonauts head coach and Butler native Scott Milanovich is doused by his players after the Argonauts defeated the Calgary Stampeders in the 100th CFL Grey Cup championship football game in Toronto. REUTERS/Mike Cassese

There was an interesting sidelight to the Grey Cup on Sunday night.

The game, the Canadian equivalent of the NFL's Super Bowl, was won by the Toronto Argonauts, 35-22, over the Calgary Stampeders.

The head coaches of the teams are both former WPIAL quarterbacks.

Toronto is coached by Scott Milanovich, who played for Butler from 1989-91. Calgary is headed by John Hufnagel, former Montour and Penn State quarterback.

Milanovich played college football at Maryland and in the NFL for Tampa Bay. The Argos won the Grey Cup in his first season at the helm.

Hufnagel, meanwhile, quarterbacked some great Nittany Lions teams in the early 1970s and finished sixth in the 1972 Heisman Trophy balloting.

The 100th Grey Cup game was played at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, formerly known as SkyDome.

1989 flashback

Speaking of quarterbacks from WPIAL schools, during and after the embarrassing performance of the Steelers on Sunday in Cleveland, references were made to a similar game with eight turnovers against Cleveland in 1989.

That game was a 51-0 lambasting by the Browns.

It was Freeport native Bud Carson's first game as Browns coach — and it was a gift-wrapped victory by the team he helped build into an NFL power.

After his stint as Georgia Tech's coach, Carson joined the Steelers and was the architect of the Steel Curtain defense at the start of the Super Bowl years.

Carson finally got his shot as an NFL coach with Cleveland in 1989. The Browns won the AFC Central but lost to the Broncos in the playoffs in one of John Elway's better games.

Carson died in 2005 at age 75. Two years after his death, his estate bequeathed $20,000 to the Freeport football program. The school district used part of the money for a scoreboard at the field on the high school campus with the inscription “Freeport: Home of Coach Bud Carson.”

Basketball rules changes

There are no major changes in high school basketball rules for this season.

About the only thing closest to a major change is the requirement that official scorers “wear a black-and-white vertically striped garment.”

Previously, it was just a recommendation.

The national rules committee said it would be easier for players, coaches and on-court officials to identify the official scorer at the table.

Starting this year, during throw-in sequences, team control includes members of the throw-in team. Officials can call a foul from the time the throw-in process begins until player control is established in bounds.

Also, state associations such as the PIAA can intervene when incidents occur before and after officials have left the court. Such was the case in 2008 when Jeannette and North Catholic had an altercation downstairs outside of the locker rooms at the Hempfield High School Field House.

Since both schools are WPIAL members, the WPIAL held a hearing with representatives of both schools.

One rules change that many anticipated nationwide did not occur. Rumor was that shot clocks would be mandated for high school games.

But a questionnaire sent to scholastic coaches, officials and state administrators “did not indicate a strong desire for shot clock use,” according to Kent Summers of the National Federation of State High School Associations.

George Guido is a Valley News Dispatch scholastic sports correspondent. His column appears Wednesdays.

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