-- 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." Naylor did not immediately return a call from The Associated Press seeking comment Tuesday.
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.
Buchanan said Tuesday he wasn't aware of that option.
There were about 1,500 fans still in the stands at the end of the game, most of them Aledo's, he said. About 5,000 were at the Bearcats' stadium in Aledo at the beginning because it was a recognition night for band members' parents. A cold front that brought rain added another reason to leave when the game started to get out of hand, Buchanan said.
While blowouts are not uncommon in Texas high school football, Aledo has racked up several of them this season, due in part to being placed in a new district that has not been as strong in football. The Bearcats' average victory margin in four district games is 77 points.
The UIL bases its realignment decisions on enrollment and geographic location to minimize travel time, a move aimed at reducing class absences. When Aledo was placed in a different district before last season, its travel time to the furthest location was cut from two hours to about 35 miles, Buchanan said.
Buchanan's team, which is averaging 69.3 points a game with a 7-0 record, ran just 32 plays but scored on about every third one during Friday's game. Aledo rushed for 391 yards. It scored eight touchdowns on the ground, two each on passes and punt returns, and one on a fumble recovery.
"It certainly didn't seem like they were trying to run up the score in this case," Hector said.
Western Hills had 79 yards rushing and 67 yards passing.
The UIL follows NCAA rules, but most other states follow guidelines of the National Federation of State High School Associations, said Bob Colgate, the federation's director of sports and sports medicine.
Colgate said many of the federation's 48 member states and the District of Columbia have adopted a mercy rule in 11-man football. He noted that a survey published in February found that 16 states reported using a mercy rule with point margins, which are set by individual states, ranging from 30 points to 50 points.
Aledo Principal Dan Peterson said his report on the bullying complaint should be completed this week. It will be given to the father who filed the complaint and the staff at Western Hills.
Hector said anyone can submit a proposal for a rule change, which could then be considered by the UIL's legislative council.
Buchanan said his school, winner of four state titles since 1998, and district are very supportive of the football program. The same, he said, cannot be said of Western Hills.
"It's not so much money as it is lack of emphasis," he said. "If you're going to have a program, support it."
Earlier on HuffPost:
A Houston, Texas teacher and teacher's aide have been removed from their classroom for allegedly disciplining their pre-K students by placing them in custodial closets <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/25/monster-closet-used-to-pu_n_1546426.html?utm_hp_ref=teachers" target="_hplink">they nicknamed "monster closets."</a>
Laurie Bailey-Cutkomp, a 47-year-old Zephyrhills High School science teacher in Zephyrhills, Fla., is under fire after<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/10/laurie-bailey-cutkomp-teacher-uses-dog-collar-to-punish-students_n_1506376.html?utm_hp_ref=teachers" target="_hplink"> photos of her students wearing dog collars as punishment</a> for bad behavior surfaced on Facebook.
Clayton High School Principal Louise Losos resigned following a leave of absence after an accusation that Losos had created a Facebook profile <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/07/louise-losos-clayton-high_n_1495476.html?utm_hp_ref=teachers" target="_hplink">pretending to be a student named Suzy Harriston.</a>
A middle school teacher in South Carolina has been accused of dragging a student under a table during class, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/30/sc-teacher-facing-charges_0_n_1465762.html?utm_hp_ref=teachers" target="_hplink">telling the boy "this is what the Nazis do to Jews," police said.</a> The 12-year-old student said he got up to sharpen a pencil at Bluffton Middle School on Wednesday when Patricia Mulholland grabbed him by his collar and said, "come here, Jew," police said. The teacher then dragged him 10 feet under a table and made the comment about Nazis, according to police.
Jack Conkling, a Prairie Hills Middle School social studies teacher and Buhler High School assistant women's basketball coach in Buhler, Kan., is under fire <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/18/jack-conkling-teacher-writes-being-gay-just-like-being-a-murderer_n_1527608.html?utm_hp_ref=teachers" target="_hplink">after equating being gay to being a murderer</a> on his Facebook profile.
New York Teachers
Teachers at a Brooklyn elementary school are <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/30/teachers-accused-of-givin_n_1556621.html?utm_hp_ref=teachers" target="_hplink">accused of giving their students the answers on standardized tests</a>. In return for high scores on those tests, teachers at Public School 94 were allegedly offered smaller classes and fewer non-English-speaking students.
George C. Marshall High School Teacher
A Virginia high school English teacher was under investigation for allegedly asking the only black student in the class <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/18/george-c-marshall-high-sc_n_1358044.html" target="_hplink">to read a poem in a "blacker" manner</a>. Jordan Shumate, a ninth-grader at George C. Marshall High School in Falls Church, Va., says he was reading aloud Langston Hughes' "Ballad of the Landlord" when teacher Marilyn Bart interrupted him. "She told me, 'Blacker, Jordan -- c'mon, blacker. I thought you were black,'" Shumate said.
A teacher at Malibu High School in Malibu, Calif., was under investigation after ninth-grade student Dionne Evans went to local authorities claiming the educator <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/01/dionne-evans-malibu-high-_n_1563647.html?utm_hp_ref=teachers" target="_hplink">slapped her six times for not bringing her notebook to class.</a>
A kindergarten teacher in Georgia has stirred controversy after <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/05/bermuda-triangle-award_n_1571656.html?utm_hp_ref=teachers" target="_hplink">presenting one of her students with the "Bermuda Triangle Award," </a>honoring the student's desk -- or "the place where things go in but never come back out."
Kathleen Pyles, a math teacher at North End Middle School in Waterbury, Conn., was on paid leave while school officials investigate allegations that she addressed a black student with a racist remark. Parents and the NAACP spoke out during a Board of Education meeting, accusing Pyles of inappropriately <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/08/kathleen-pyles-connecticu_n_1580779.html?utm_hp_ref=teachers" target="_hplink">calling a student "black boy" when she couldn't remember his name</a>.
Union Elementary School Official
Parents in Clinton, North Carolina, were outraged after an assistant principal <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/19/third-grader-strip-search_n_1609415.html?utm_hp_ref=teachers" target="_hplink">gave a third-grader a strip search</a> there. The Union Elementary School official believed the boy had stolen money and ordered him to strip to his boxers.
A Tampa Bay, Fla. school teacher <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/20/florida-teacher-suspended_n_1613309.html?utm_hp_ref=teachers" target="_hplink">was suspended for three days without pay </a>after allowing one of her students to write and present a speech that criticized a former Oakstead Elementary teacher by name.
Matt Hansen, a 38-year-old teacher for the Fort Zumwalt School District in O'Fallon, Mo., has been charged with felony possession of child pornography after a local cyber crimes unit found<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/26/matt-hansen-former-missouri-teacher-accused-of-taping-80-boys-undressing_n_1628926.html?utm_hp_ref=teachers" target="_hplink"> he allegedly videotaped 80 male students undressing</a>.
Diane John, the mother whose 15-year-old son suffered a beatdown at the hands of much larger teacher Stephan Hudson, sought criminal charges against the offending public school dean and <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/29/brooklyn-mother-suing-cit_n_1637930.html?utm_hp_ref=teachers" target="_hplink">sued the city for $5.5 million</a> after being shown surveillance footage of the incident.
Steve McClenning and Billie Madewell
The Scholars Academy Principal Steve McClenning and assistant Billie Madewell <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/27/arizona-principal-caught-in-make-out-session-fired_n_1459968.html" target="_hplink">have both lost their jobs</a> at the Quartzsite, Ariz. school after the two were caught passionately making out on video.
Audrey Grabarkiewicz, a 46-year-old preschool teacher at Lake Bowen Baptist Church in Spartanburg, S.C., <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/01/audrey-grabarkiewicz-teacher-avoids-jail-for-teen-sex-parties_n_1641676.html" target="_hplink">managed to avoid jail time</a> despite being arrested for throwing alcohol and sex parties for teens last year.
A Texas teacher lost her job after ordering <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/16/district-texas-teacher-ha_n_1601980.html?utm_hp_ref=school-bullying" target="_hplink">more than 20 kindergartners to line up and hit a classmate</a> accused of being a bully. The teacher at a suburban San Antonio school is accused of orchestrating the slugfest after a younger teaching colleague went to her seeking suggestions on how to discipline the 6-year-old, according to a police report from the Judson Independent School District.
Bronx teacher Marcy Rubenstein allegedly duct-taped a rowdy student to his chair while other classmates laughed and pushed him around, after she became irritated that the student <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/19/teacher-duct-tapes-studen_n_1609459.html?utm_hp_ref=school-bullying" target="_hplink">repeatedly got up during a test.</a>
Indiana teacher Samuel Fies <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/14/samuel-fies-indiana-teach_n_1148383.html?ref=Education&ir=Education" target="_hplink">was fired from Highland High School</a> after he was arrested and charged in December 2011 with multiple counts of sexual misconduct with a minor, child molestation, criminal confinement, child solicitation and attempted child seduction.
Ohio science teacher John Freshwater was fired in early 2011 after being accused of preaching religious beliefs in class and keeping a Bible on his desk. Freshwater appealed the firing, but <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/06/john-freshwater-ohio-scie_n_997996.html" target="_hplink">a judge upheld the decision in October 2011.</a>
Jill Lyle, a substitute teacher in Santa Fe, N.M. was fired in November 2011 after she was<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/20/jill-lyle-santa-fe-substi_n_972437.html" target="_hplink"> reportedly found passed out drunk while on the job.</a>
Sean Loftis, a Florida substitute teacher who starred in gay porn films under the pseudonym Collin O'Neal, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/24/sean-loftis-gay-porn-star-fired-teacher_n_935199.html" target="_hplink">lost his teaching job in October 2011</a> after his X-rated activities came to light.
Andrew Harris, a science teacher at Glacier Creek Middle School in Cross Plains, Wis. first lost his job for looking at porn at work. The school district decided in March 2012, however, that <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/02/andrew-harris-teacher-who_n_1317517.html" target="_hplink">he would be offered to be reinstated and given back pay and benefits estimated at $200,000.</a>
An unnamed teacher at Tallulah Elementary School in Tallulah, La. was fired in March 2012 after she failed to notice two third grade students <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/23/third-graders-oral-sex-tallulah-elementary-school_n_1375399.html" target="_hplink">allegedly having oral sex under a classroom table.</a>
A teacher at the Friendship Public Charter School in Washington, D.C. was fired after she <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/13/christian-washington-taped-to-chair-by-teacher_n_1341817.html" target="_hplink">allegedly taped Christian Washington, a 9-year-old vision-impaired student, to his classroom chair.</a>
A Washington, D.C. teacher was fired in March 2012 for <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/05/teacher-fired-for-giving-_n_1322173.html" target="_hplink">sending home violent, morbid and traumatizing math problems</a> to third graders at Center City Public Charter School's Trinidad campus.
Teacher Brooke Harris says she was let go from her position at Pontiac Academy for Excellence in Pontiac, Mich., in March <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/10/brooke-harris-michigan-teacher-fired-trayvon-martin-fundraiser_n_1414870.html?ref=Education&ir=Education" target="_hplink">after attempting to help students organize a hoodie-themed fundraiser for the family of Trayvon Martin.</a> In this AP photo, a man wears a hoodie and a scarf with the likeness of Trayvon Martin during a "One Thousand Hoodies March for Trayvon Martin" event Thursday, March 29, 2012 in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/The Star Tribune, Renee Jones Schneider)
Jarretta Hamilton, a fourth grade teacher, was fired from the Southland Christian School in St. Cloud, Fla. in 2009 because the child she was carrying <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/10/jarretta-hamilton-teacher_n_1416122.html?ref=Education&ir=Education" target="_hplink">was conceived two months before she and her husband married. </a>
Indiana teacher Emily Herx says she was fired from her Roman Catholic school -- St. Vincent de Paul school in Fort Wayne -- <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/25/catholic-school-ivf_n_1453524.html?1335557656" target="_hplink">for using in vitro fertilization to try to get pregnant.</a>
Meredith Burris Pruitt
31-year-old Meredith Burris Pruitt was fired in March 2012 from Forestview High School in Gastonia, N.C. after she was accused of selling, and employing students to help sell,<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/03/meredith-burris-pruitt-teacher-arrested-for-using-students-to-sell-drugs_n_1400135.html" target="_hplink"> prescription drugs around the school.</a>
Jeffrey Robert Sears Jr.
Jeffrey R. Sears Jr., a 29-year-old former teacher at Glen Burnie High School, faces more than 50 years in prison after allegedly having sex with <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/17/jeffrey-robert-sears-jr-accused-of-sex-acts-with-students-at-school-in-car_n_1432069.html" target="_hplink">15 and 16-year-old students over the course of two years.</a>
Megan Denman, a 29-year-old social sciences teacher at Hoover High School in Fresno, Calif. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/12/megan-denman-teacher-arrested-for-having-oral-sex-with-student_n_1421237.html" target="_hplink">was placed on paid leave in the spring of 2012</a> for allegedly performing oral sex on and sleeping with a student who was under the age of 18.
California teacher Stacie Halas was fired from Richard B. Haydock Intermediate School in April 2012 for<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/19/stacie-halas-fired-porn-film_n_1437467.html?1335557660" target="_hplink"> performing in a pornographic video.</a>
Bernadette Camacho, a 39-year-old teacher in Queens, New York, was fired from Hillcrest High School in January 2012 after reportedly telling students they had their <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/03/bernadette-camacho-former-teacher-fired-for-badmouthing-students_n_1181678.html" target="_hplink">"brains in their ass" and attempting to bribe them to keep quiet.</a>
a bullying attack by peers -- <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/30/john-rosi-washington-midd_n_1841998.html?utm_hp_ref=school-bullying">and at some points, by the teacher</a>. The incidents occurred in February at a Gig Harbor middle school. Cell phone footage shows more than a dozen students dragging the then-eighth-grade boy around the classroom, carrying him by his arms and legs, burying him under chairs, writing on his feet and stuffing his socks in his mouth. The antics last about 15 minutes while teacher John Rosi watches, and later joins in.
North Carolina Teacher
A state investigation was been opened at Hudson Middle School in Caldwell County, N.C., following allegations that <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/17/north-carolina-student-cardboard-box_n_1524239.html?utm_hp_ref=teachers" target="_hplink">a teacher forced a student with special needs to sit in a cardboard box</a> as a disciplinary measure.