SOUTHBRIDGE, Mass., Oct. 25 (UPI) -- An official with a Massachusetts youth football league has defended his team's conduct in a September game during which five players received concussions.
Rob Philion, vice president of Southbridge Pop Warner Youth Football and Cheer, said the coach of the rival Tantasqua team should have stopped play when four of its players were hurt after the sixth play, the Boston Globe reported Wednesday.
Philion said the coaches made the "unfortunate" decision to continue play although they were down to just 13 players.
Pop Warner rules says that at least 16 players must be in the game for it to continue.
He also denied the Southbridge team violated the "mercy rule" after the team took a 28-0 lead.
The final score was 34-0, he said, not 52-0 as initially reported.
The five Tantasqua players who received concussions all missed school. Doctors have cleared four of them to return to classes.
League officials last week permanently banned the three game officials and suspended both coaches for the season for "conduct unbecoming a Pop Warner coach."
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