I began this season trying to photograph and keep tabs on how each drive developed. I take note after note missing important photographs as a result. This is painful for a photographer.
But what I also discovered is my numbers were always different than those of my colleagues. What I didn't realize was that sportswriters, radio sportscasters and coaches don't always wind up with the same totals. Weichel's article explained, in part, why that is. By the way, I had Knox for under 400 yards in last week’s game against Franklin (he had 428), but I never trust my numbers completely and that's why I seldom include them in my stories.
Sometimes stat keepers can differ by a yard (shouldn’t be more than that) on any play. Sometimes the wrong player is given the carry. In the case of Ethen Knox – the nation’s leading rusher, according to MaxPreps -- too many times it apparently has to do with yards given after a holding penalty. "The Derrick (and I) give the ball-carrier rushing yards from the line of scrimmage to where the flag was thrown on a hold. Others say no play at all. Friday night, for instance, there were two Knox runs in which holding was called. I gave him 13 yards on those plays. The Derrick undoubtedly gave him something too. Other outlets, including the radio, said no play to both."
Weichel said she has researched via Google the correct way to record the yardage but all she came up with was this from sportsjournalists.com in 2006: "If the penalty is marked from the original line of scrimmage or behind the line of scrimmage, it's no play. If it's marked from beyond the line of scrimmage, then the play counts."
Sports editor from The Titusville Herald Pete Chiodo said that's how he does it.
So does The Derrick (and Weichel). "Tom Reisenweber, [of the Erie Times,] tweeted, 'The Derrick does it correctly.' Ryan Briggs, the respected Mercer County sports statistician, agreed," Weichel added.
The sportsjournalists website further explained: "Example: Jones gains 5 yards, but the offense is penalized 10 yards for holding and the spot of the foul is 2 yards past the line of scrimmage. Give Jones a 2-yard run (and, Weichel’s words, not the whole enchilada) and the offense a 10-yard penalty.”
Visit www.route8rivalry.com to learn a lot more about the long-running Franklin-Oil City rivalry. We're adding a permanent link of this site on our sports page. Weichel also keeps tabs on other sports and even some other area schools, former local athletes and so much more. Not sure she sleeps. It is one of my main go-to websites to gain clarity and perspective on games that, I too, am covering.