MARICOPA — After Maricopa blasted Phoenix Central 55-0 at its homecoming game Friday, tempers flared at midfield between both head coaches.
As Central coach Jon Clanton and Maricopa coach Brandon Harris went in for the postgame handshake, Clanton aggressively brought Harris in close. From there, the two had a heated exchange before both sides had to be separated.
Central met on the field before heading to the buses, while Maricopa went directly to the locker room.
Clanton said Harris ran up the score, an act he deemed “classless.” He admitted to shoving the Rams coach before he said Harris punched him as he and the team left the field.
During the closing moments, the Rams broke a 78-yard run to extend the lead to 55-0. That would be the final play of the game.
Clanton added he has been in a similar situation before and said he ran out the clock by kneeling instead of adding to the lead.
Harris confirmed to PinalCentral that Clanton called him classless, among other things, and that Clanton pushed him on the forehead, knocking his hat off, before “the melee broke out.”
The Maricopa coach firmly denied Clanton's allegation that he threw a punch. He also said Clanton's statement that he ran up the score is false.
"I did not punch anyone — that is a fact. His own assistant coaches apologized for his outburst. Theses are the facts," Harris said. "I did not run up the score. I teach our team to play each down as its own entity and to not play (to) the scoreboard."