Football: Marshall-Mission game ended before halftime due to fight, coach misconduct

By Lamonte Dewindt

Update (Monday 9:30 p.m.): According to San Francisco Section commissioner Don Collins, Mission will be credited with a 37-0 win. Information on possible suspensions or any other discipline will be announced on Tuesday.
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The Academic Athletic Association football game between Marshall High School and Mission on Saturday at School of the Arts was ended by the game’s referees with 1:10 remaining in the second quarter, after a verbal exchange between a Marshall head coach Nicholas Wilson and a Mission player.

Following a timeout from the Marshall sideline, Mission senior Antoine Porter returned a punt 45 yards for a touchdown, which put the Bears up 37-0 with 1:10 left in the half.

Wilson screamed from the sideline, pleading with the referees for a clipping penalty, then asked if there was a flag thrown on the opposite side of the field that he could not see.

A Mission player then said to Wilson, “No, it was on your team,” which led Wilson to respond by saying to the player, “Don’t talk to me, little f–––––.”

Editor’s note: Wilson’s comment above is a direct quote, as it was heard from reporter Lamonte Dewindt on the Marshall sideline. Wilson contends the comments “were not exactly what he said.” Wilson went on to say in a phone interview on Saturday night that he “said something to the player like, ‘Get back to your huddle,’ then said something into the headset about that player. I don’t remember exactly what I said.”

The referees then ended the game, which left many on the field and in the stands confused as to what had occurred.

According to San Francisco Section commissioner Don Collins, the game will be without a result, with no team receiving a win or loss, until he is able to review the referees’ report. The result, as well as suspensions and/or other discipline, is expected to be released Monday.

The game’s ending was the boiling point of what was already a heated contest, which had a fight break out earlier in the game.

Following a 20-yard run by Porter, a Marshall and Mission player engaged in a shoving match, which led to the Marshall player throwing the Mission player to the ground.

The Mission player then fell on top of the Marshall player and began to throw punches.

Players from both teams rushed to the altercation, while referees and coaches hurried had to separate the players. When things finally calmed down, the referees and coaches met on the field for over 20 minutes to sort out the consequences of the fight.

The referees eventually decided to eject three players from Marshall and two from Mission.

Although his team lost two players, which will also likely be suspended for next week’s game against Balboa next week, Mission head coach Joe Albano was mostly pleased with the way his players reacted to the heated moments.

“I’m not glad one of them fought, but he was being jumped on, so it was just reaction,” Albano said. “I’m not happy one guy popped off on the sideline, [but] for the most part we kept our heads cool.”

According to Marshall athletic director Ken Wilson, who was on the sideline, the referees explained to both coaching staffs after the fight that they were willing to cancel the game if they felt they needed to.

“We were already told [with the score] at 13-0 after the fight that they wanted to call the game,” Ken Wilson said of the referees. “We talked to our guys, who decided they wanted to continue on and they showed a lot of heart playing.”

“Obviously, today was a bad day for the whole league,” Nicholas Wilson said in a phone interview Saturday night. “The head referee urged us to call the game after the fight. Our guys didn’t want to quit . . . I, personally, don’t feel great about how things ended. Obviously, as a coach, I should never address a player on the field, but at the same time, my guys were out there fighting and I was trying to fight for them.”

In the context of the football game, Mission scored early and often on a depleted Marshall defense. Porter scored on the first play from scrimmage and carried the Mission offense for most of the game, scoring five of the Bears’ six touchdowns (three rushing, one passing and one on a punt return). He had 61 yards on 2-of-2 passing and 72 yards rushing on six carries.

The Phoenix struggled offensively and missed multiple players due to injuries and suspensions, most notably starting running back Quintrell Anderson, who was sidelined for a knee injury.

Jeremy Balan contributed to this report.

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40 Comments

  1. DP says:

    Wow, just wow. Playing for 4 years in the AAA wasnt exactly the greatest football experience ever but this is just shameful.

    Things always get heated during a football game, and my team had a pretty young and energetic coach. It’s not like he would throw fits but he would defitnitley be seething a lot of the time during games, but never EVER has he done something so unfitting a coach as what Mr. Wilson has done as this article says (assuming its all true).
    This makes me respect my coach all the more for what he’s done for our team and the level of mental and physical preperation he carried with himself throughout the season.

    Thurgood was always a school that had potential due to the sheer raw size and speed their players possessed, the dedication that their players had to practice a game their school doesnt even have a field for, the whirlwind of different coaches theyve had to adjust to and trust…Its (at the risk of sounding a little too emotional) heart breaking to see a game I love, that they love, be diluted by the very, very, very stupid action of one coach.

    At the same time i dont know him personally, i dont know the bond he has with his players, and at least from what it sounds like he loved his players enough to do that childish action and I apologize if i offended anyone

    If any Thurgood players read this, keep your heads up, anything can happen in this great sport, going from 3 years of losing seasons to T Day was one of my fondest experiences of high school

    -Bal

  2. JJ says:

    The opposing player shouldn’t have been talking to the other team’s head coach, anyways. Maybe the head coach overeacted but sometimes you say things in the heat of the moment that you don’t mean. Maybe this is the norm nowadays because I saw a fight on Youtube in a Pop Warner game (no, it wasn’t the SF Warriors), but it was from the Bay Area. A fight even broke out after a football game about 6 years ago when SHC beat Riordan because a SHC player disrespectfuly snatched the Stanfel trophy from behind Riordan’s bench.

  3. GCJ 01 says:

    Coach Wilson has just dug himself a deeper hole to climb out of. As a coach, he should know better to ignore comments from the other team….especially if a player is directing it towards you.

    This is an embarrassment to the AAA. Mission and Marshall should conduct themselves better. I understand that things get heated, but fights, not only hurt you as a person and the league, it hurts your team.

    • AAA Alumni says:

      Thurgood sparked the altercations and were cursing at Mission players the entire game and all the mission defender did was tell the other coach that the flag was on their team. Marshall is at fault here and should have their program cancelled or their coach suspended.

      • GCJ 01 says:

        If what you say is true, I find it interesting. Marshall has yet to win a AAA game and, they begin to talk trash to Mission….who is one of the best teams in the AAA? That to me doesn’t make sense. However, I don’t doubt your claim because of who Marshall has as a head coach.

        Were you at the game and witnessed this yourself?

        • bears brah says:

          I was on Marshall’s side of the stand and heard what the coach said to the player. The article is completely correct

  4. bears brah says:

    Coach wilson needs to be honest. He 100% said what is quoted in this article and trying to deny it is just unethical . He needs to admit to hus wrongdoing and apologisr to the mission football program

  5. Don L. says:

    I dont know Coach Wilson and I am not in a position to judge him. But it ALMOST appears to me that he is like Mike Singletary and not a Jim Harbaugh. Singletary blabbed a lot and did a lot of “silly” things to try and motivate his team. But he wasn’t the best head coach around (and didn’t get a great staff either). Harbaugh is intense but backs it would great knowledge and coaching ability. To be fair, Marshall is a long away from the 49ers in terms of having players. Heck, Marshall isn’t even one of the larger AAA teams.

    Coach Wilson had all the best intentions in the world. If he had succeeded all of us would be impressed. If he failed (and it’s not looking good), we would look back at how silly his promises were. As I pointed out early in the season though, Marshall (and the AAA in general) don’t need brash coaches. Coaches need to show dedication AND be aware of the up / down nature (especially with the smaller programs).

    That’s why I like it that Coach Mulligan has stayed at Wallenberg for 20+ years as basketball coach. I’m not sure if Coach Mulligan has ever entertained ideas of leaving. But I know he loves the school and the program is all his to do with as he wants. Coach Mulligan doesn’t have the best facilities and a limited student body to work with, but he has shown his acumen and dedication. That’s why most of his players like playing for him.

    Coach Mulligan among other long timers in various sports are what the AAA needs, not just brash coaches who think they can do better than others before them.

    • GCJ 01 says:

      Well said. Coach Brian Jackson at Burton coaches volleyball, basketball, and softball (all girls teams) and he has been there for 15-20 years. Our public schools need dedicated people. Kids respond better if you can “walk the walk” rather than “talking the talk.” I guess Coach Wilson is eating his words now…especially since he put down the coaches that preceeded him at Marshall.

  6. GCJ 01 says:

    I think Marshall’s AD, Mr. Ken Wilson, needs to have a talk with his 23 year old son about not embarrassing the program! This incident should make for an interesting coversation at the Wilson’s dinner table.

  7. supportedfan says:

    Would a rematch be possible its not fair to the players since it was not their fault.

    • jbalan says:

      A rematch is not going to happen.

    • Denise says:

      Not the players fault??? Did you not read there was a bench clearing brawl during the game? The game should’ve been cancelled the minute both teams left their sidelines…

      As for Mr. Wilson, he’s obviously in over his head! It’s clear he lacks the maturity to be a high school head coach. There is so much more to coaching than X’s & O’s! His integrity is shot, although he really. Ever had much to begin with! His bio at the start of the season said he was the quarterback of the HMB CCS champ team… He was the backup QB! He never played any meaningful minutes on that team which makes his 1 year college career highly suspect.

      • AAA Alumni says:

        bench clearing brawl? i was at the game and i saw the mission player get jumped on by about 3 thurgood players while the rest of the mission players on the field tried to get their teammate out of the bottom of the pile. if you werent at the game dont exagerate your conception of what the dispute might have looked like

  8. Space monkey says:

    Why doesn’t Don Collins call a rematch so Thurgood really knows that Mission can care less and will beat them just as bad the second time ? I’m a mission fan and I have faith in those kids to beat Thurgood just as bad AGAIN!

  9. JJ says:

    Everyone says it’s the coaches’ fault, but he wasn’t the one throwing punches. Actions speak louder than words.

    • airball says:

      @JJ…yes the coaches were not the ones “throwing punches”, however the actions of their players ultimately fall back onto them because these are their players, their teams, their programs.

      As far as what the Marshall coach may or may not have said to the opposing player, that is without question on him. Being the adult/coach/person in a leadership position, he cannot allow a teenager to get under his skin like that. There is no reason to respond at all.

      Aftermath…Mission gets the win and Marshall the lose, players that were ejected sit out the next game, both coaches/programs get warnings regarding player conduct, and possible game suspension for Marshall’s coach depending on what juicy details are in the referees’ report.

      • JJ says:

        To me, the Marshall coach was apologetic and felt embarassed about the situation. The Mission coach seemed to be unapologetic, since he said his boys kept “their heads cool” even though a couple of his players were fighting. You can’t keep your heads cool and fight at the same time. I wasn’t at the game, but the Mission player could’ve been egging him on. If I was an adult, I wouldn’t want a high school kid talking smack to me. I’m all about giving people 2nd chances, like Mirkarimi. I think Coach Wilson should keep his job.

        • AAA Alumni says:

          mission players were playing cleanly and were telling the refs what was going on with thurgood. not once did a mission player talk trash to or threaten a thurgood player.

          • JJ says:

            According to the article, “a Mission player fell on top of a Marshall player and began to throw punches.”. That seems like an agressive, violent act to me.

            • Mission football player says:

              In response to the other player trying to jump on him and hit him. What other response could there have been

            • DNW says:

              This is why a 23 year old should not be a head coach over a group of impressionable & aggressive boys. The coach should have been embarrassed…he is an adult & all of his students watched what he did and in turn they will feel like when someone gets under their skin it’s ok to go off. Being a football team is more than just “playing” a lot of lessons are learned on and off the field. I am disappointed that Marshall hired the athletic directors son & not the best candidate just because he knew the right person. This could have turned out a lot worse! And the Mission player that started throwing punches is only 15 years old & was pushed and shoved intent illy numerous times by Thurgood… What an embaressment to everyone involved & I hope Don Collins takes the appropriate actions.

              • fball18 says:

                You act is Coach Wilson has no understanding of any of this or that he is not attempting to set a good example for his players. Claiming that he is not the best candidate for the position is also gutsy because where do you find this claim. It is a football game and you will be pushed, shoved and have cheap shots taken against you. As a former player these things happen and it is how you deal with them and respond that matter the most. Throwing punches is not acceptable.

  10. T&F Coach says:

    Just a shame all that went down.

  11. Jon Goldsmith says:

    SMH,
    I know “Coach” Wilson reads these posts so let me give you some advice:
    Hang up the whistle, and let someone else give it a try. You are not the right choice for Marshall. The players are a reflection of the coach, and the coach is a reflection of the school.
    I predicted this back when he first popped off about winning the AAA and beating teams 70-0…its like watching a bad movie unfold in real life. SMH.

  12. supportedfan says:

    It wasnt the fight that called the games,they continued the game after the fight

  13. jbalan says:

    There have been a number of comments that have not been approved because they have included player names or numbers. Feel free to comment, but any comments identifying individual players will not be approved.

  14. DC says:

    do you guys think the marshal vs lincoln game will be canceled?

  15. fball18 says:

    Sounds like a difficult situation for both coaches and both teams. You never want to see a fight breakout in the middle of the game, but these things do happen. It does not make them acceptable, but they do happen. This should serve as a learning experience for both teams and the players involved about not only athletics but their lives as well. I am not privy to knowing everything about both teams, but before we make judgements on anyone we need to wait until we see the referees report about what was actually said. I would be surprised if coach Wilson actually made the accused statements to the player in question. Having been around football coaches will discuss other players with their coaches over headsets, before and after games. I do not believe that these comments were made to the player, but if the reported statement was made at all it would be over a headset. It is unfortunate that the game ended these ways, but you learn and move on. Also, it is tough in my opinion to criticize coaches and players without knowing the fully story of what is happening with the program and their lives. People should be willing to dig into what programs have been instituted for the team or for players before discussing a coach. Whether you agree with a coaching style or not does not make a difference. So before everyone decides it is acceptable to bash on a coach or a program or a team they should look into more than just the article. I think people will be surprised if they do.

  16. love4the city says:

    I have met the AD at Marshall. Mr. Wilson is a good man and is doing all he can to help these players out. I feel his son is just very passionate about his players, and sometimes he lets that passion get the best of him during games. He is still young, and with a young program there will be growing pains. From just getting to know them though, I do feel that they are changing the culture over there at Marshall. Before Marshall wouldnt want to fight, now they play with heart, it just needs to be guided better. Off the field, the team GPA has also been raised. If Coach Wilson can just learn from his mistakes, the program will be fine.

    • fball18 says:

      It is great to hear that the team GPA has been raised. That is a huge credit to both Wilson’s and the work they are doing at Marshall. And passion is great way to put. A passionate coach is a great thing for a young program.

    • Jon Goldsmith says:

      Im not letting him off the hook that easy.
      I want to know that facts….what was the GPA last year at this point, and what is the GPA now?
      Its easy to say “the team GPA has raised” when he knows no one will really check or get accurate information. Only he, and school personnel, will have that answer.
      I doubt my questions raised will be answered, nor is this the forum to share student eligibility information.
      To be clear, ALL OF MY QUESTIONS ARE RHETORICAL….
      Coach Wilson, please do not post your team’s GPA on this website….but ask yourself honestly if you have compared last year to this year….or are you making statements based on false data?
      For the record, saying, “our team GPA has raised” is like saying “now they play with heart.”…..says who…the coach – what is he supposed to say? (again, rhetorical)

  17. Don L. says:

    The Chronicle pointed to an article on this game and there were notes saying that the Coach Wilson said something to a Mission player(s). I would post links but as it’s on another site, I’ll let others go check it on their own if they choose to do so.

  18. Don L. says:

    I should also note that the “other article” said that the Marshall players were frustrated with the coaches and would not play again this season. Jeremy, any word of that from your writer or other sources? I’m not sure about WHY the players were frustrated. But when you only have 20+ players or so, getting beat up is not exactly a fun experience.

    • Wolverine says:

      I made a similar post on another article, but Marshall had 21 players show up for practice today, or two more than they had for the game. At least three other players missed practice for excused reasons. So I think the stories of the program’s demise are greatly exaggerated. One of several inaccuracies in the other “news” source

      I believe that some of the players were frustrated after the game because they didn’t know why the game had ended and mistakenly believed their coaches had thrown in the towel. But these kids have a ton of heart, and I suspect they will want to finish out the season.

  19. Space monkey says:

    Who took pictures at the game ?

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