Still, he didn't excuse his players for the fisticuffs nor did the school athletic director David Coronado.
"Unfortunately, we had a few athletes display poor sportsmanship," Coronado wrote in an email. "Players responded physically to members of the Davis team and others who rushed the field in the last seconds of the game."
However, Coronado likewise acknowledged there were issues with the way the game was run on Friday night.
"I can say that there were several incidents throughout the game that contributed to the tense atmosphere and that we will be working with our league and CIF to address our concerns," he wrote.
Neither Coronado nor Ewing would elaborate. Ewing did say four Mustang players were ejected by game officials which mean they are ineligible for Friday's game at Oak Ridge.
Coronado added in his email: "We at Monterey Trail under Head Coach TJ Ewing, have always prided ourselves in displaying high integrity, character, and positive sportsmanship which have always been pillars in the foundation of Monterey Trail Athletics. This incident does not reflect our high standards, school, community or how we represent Monterey Trail High School. "
This means the 14th seed Mustangs will play without some key boys on Friday at 3rd seeded Oak Ridge.
With the help of Sac-Joaquin Section Communication Director Will DeBoard, here are some previews of Friday's action with our local squads:
No. 14 Monterey Trail (5-5) at No. 3 Oak Ridge (8-2): Monterey Trail, the fifth-place team out of the Delta League, is in the playoffs for the fifth time. The Mustangs have made strong runs their previous three playoff appearances, advancing to the championship game in 2009 and 2010 and to the semifinals last year. Oak Ridge, the SFL runner-up, lost to top-seeded Folsom and Reed this year. Reed is one of the top teams in Nevada, and both Reed and Folsom are undefeated. The Trojans didn’t make the playoffs last year, but advanced to the D1 championship game in 2012 and 2013. They have a 27-21 postseason record on 25 appearances with four D2 titles (1998 and 2002-2004).
No. 13 Pleasant Grove (5-5) at No. 4 Napa (10-0): Pleasant Grove, the Delta League fourth-place team, returns to the playoffs after missing last year. The Eagles have a string Section postseason tradition with a 16-6 record in seven appearances. They won the D1 title in 2010, beating Monterey Trail 21-6. Pleasant Grove has never lost in the first round of the playoffs. Napa, the MEL champion, is in the playoffs for the 14th straight year. The Indians, one of three 10-0 teams in the D1 field, went 1-1 last year, losing to Granite Bay in the quarterfinals. They have a 20-21 postseason record in 23 appearances, winning the D1 title in 2007.
No. 11 Lincoln-S (6-4) at No. 6 Cosumnes Oaks (7-3): Lincoln-S, the TCAL runner-up, returns to the playoffs after missing last year. When the Trojans have made the playoffs, they generally do well with a 29-24 overall record in 25 appearances. They’ve won in the first round each of their last three appearances. Lincoln-S won one Section championships, the 2000 Division I crown (35-28 over Elk Grove). Cosumnes Oaks, the CVC third-place team, is in the postseason for the fifth straight year. The Wolfpack last won a playoff contest in 2012, and have a 2-4 career record.
No. 15 Gregori (6-4) at No. 2 Elk Grove (10-0): Gregori, the fourth-place team out of the MMC, is in the playoffs for the second time in school history and second straight year. Last year, they lost 27-0 to Jesuit in a D1 game. On the other side of the field is one of the Section’s more experienced playoff schools. Elk Grove is 41-24 in 29 postseason appearances, with five D1 championships won (1984, 1991, 1997-98 and 2001). The Thundering Herd lost to Del Oro (20-19) in the 2013 D2 title game and lost to Folsom (44-18) in the 2012 D2 championship.
No. 9 Franklin-EG (6-4) at No. 8 Turlock (7-2): Franklin, the third-place team out of the Delta League, is in the playoffs for the seventh consecutive season. It’s made the quarterfinals each of the last four years and it made the semifinals in 2012. In eight playoff appearances, the Wildcats are 5-8. Turlock, the CCC runner-up, is searching for its first playoff win since a first-round victory over Franklin-S in 2003. The Bulldogs advanced to the D1 semifinals in 2002, but currently have a four-game postseason losing streak. They have a 5-11 career postseason record in 11 appearances.
No. 7 Amador (6-4) at No. 2 Bradshaw Christian (9-1): Amador, the MLL third-place team, is in the playoffs for the fourth straight year. The Buffaloes have lost six straight postseason games dating back to 2003. In playoff playoff appearances, they have a 3-15 record. Bradshaw Christian, the SDL champion, hasn’t missed the playoffs since 2006. The Pride boasts five championship berths, four titles and an 11-4 record in eight postseason appearances. They won Section titles in 2013, 2011, 2009 and 2008