MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — An East Ridge high school football player is suing the Minnesota State High School League after he was suspended for four games after a targeting penalty.

Marco Cavallaro, a senior defensive lineman at East Ridge, was ejected from the regular-season finale against Centennial on Oct. 17. He was ejected after he hit Centennial’s quarterback. The quarterback had just thrown an interception and was hit by Cavallaro in what looks like a blind side hit.

Officials called the hit “targeting”, which is an act of intentionally hitting a player above the shoulder with the helmet, forearm, hand, fist, elbow or shoulders. The penalty is 15 yards, but the player can be ejected if the foul is deemed flagrant.

Cavallaro was ejected.

Cavallaro would have been suspended only a game after being ejected, but since he had already been suspended earlier in the season, he was suspended four games by the MSHSL.

Now, Cavallaro and his parents are fighting the suspension, saying they weren’t allowed to appeal the decision and need due process. Since they believe the call to be incorrect, they’re asking for an appeal and Cavallaro’s eligibility restored. The case is reportedly expected to be heard Wednesday morning in Hennepin County court.

Cavallaro’s parents set up a GoFundMe page, which is seeking $5,000 for legal costs.

Watch video of the hit below:

Comments (4)
  1. juddatdouglas says:

    Good cal, bad hit,

  2. Stan Lister says:

    cheap shoot and clearly done to pick out the QB and destroy him. Why not hit the bigger guy that was actually running to make the play? I would not want him on my team and would kick him out of the system all together.

  3. The official in artfully referred to it as targeting but it was actually an illegal blindside block. Targeting and illegal blind side blocks are both physical contact fouls. Neither targeting nor illegal blindside block fouls carry an automatic ejection, however, if an official deems any physical contact foul to be “flagrant”, the official has the discretion to eject the player. Whether it was targeting or an illegal blind side block doesn’t really matter. What matters is that the official deemed it to be flagrant. That is a pure judgment call. MSHSL rightfully doesn’t review on-field calls of officials. Even if it did, pure judgement calls like this would not be ones that they would review.