As most of you know, I am a football referee and work games at all levels from small kids up through semi-pro. High school varsity games, “Friday Night Lights,” are by far the most fun and the most demanding. And while I haven’t posted before about my games, the one I worked Friday night was a game for the ages!
Skyview at Columbia River – these two schools are fierce rivals. When Skyview was built about 14 years ago, many of the students came from River as the territories for the two schools are adjacent. This game has blossomed over the years into a fierce rivalry, though Skyview has been the victor the last 4 years.
So this past Friday night, we had the electricity in the air for the game along with a full house, standing room only crowd. The game was a seesaw battle all night. Tied going into the 4th quarter at 17 all, with 1:45 on the clock, River scored a touchdown but the extra point was blocked. Score 23-17 River.
Skyview get the ball back on the ensuing kickoff and quickly marches downfield and with 39 seconds left, scores a TD and makes the extra point. Score now 24-23 Skyview, and all the standing fans are on the track just off the field.
Skyview does a squib kick to prevent the long return and River recovers just past their 40. Several plays later, they have a second down near the Skyview 18, and with 7 seconds left, elect to go for a field goal.
The kick is blocked and the Skyview players are jumping for joy at their victory and their fans are celebrating loudly on their sideline. But the ball is still on the field and a River player after a few seconds realizes that it is a live ball, grabs it and runs it in for the game winning TD. Final score – River 29, Skyview 24.
Coach from Skyview wants to know the ruling which I give him. Basically, a scrimmage kick (Punt or FG) can be recovered behind the line of scrimmage and be advanced by either team. He isn’t happy with that (probably doesn’t believe me) but goes back to his team.
Later we hear that the athletic directors from the school are protesting the result and say that they have conclusive video that a player covered the ball on the ground ending the play.
Here are three videos from the Columbian with different vantage points on the play:
Additionally, here is a link to the most recent story of this exciting game ender in the Columbian: click here.
I’m very proud of the crew I worked with that night. Had any one of us blown a whistle, it would have killed the play and been what we call an “inadvertent whistle” which necessitates a replay of the down. In this case, it would have given River another attempt at the field goal which would really have upset Skyview because now, the officials would have affected the outcome. Well done Ric, Kevin, Ryan and Scott!