by Larry Ham
One of the fun things about attending a sporting event is not knowing the outcome ahead of time. But Saturday night at Reedley High School Stadium, the fans not only didn’t know the outcome beforehand, they didn’t know the final score on their way out, either, after an inexcusable blunder by the game officials left a black cloud hanging over the entire event.
The final score was Contra Costa 43-38, but fans leaving the stadium saw a final score of 42-38 on the scoreboard. The reason for the discrepancy was an error by the officials on a blocked extra point attempt after a Reedley touchdown. Contra Costa recovered the blocked kick, and ran it back the other way for two points. A few minutes later, the officials called up to the press box and had the Contra Costa score reduced by one point, claiming that the blocked kick return was worth only one point. Everyone in the press box knew that was incorrect, and the coaches for both teams should have known as well, but no one protested and the game continued.
Ultimately the score change changed the strategy of both teams in the last few minutes. The Tigers scored three straight defensive touchdowns; two pick sixes and a fumble recovery that was returned for a TD. They went for two points after their final touchdown, thinking they were ahead by one when they were actually up by two. If the score had been correct, they would have just kicked the extra point.
Contra Costa, on fourth and goal with six seconds left and trailing by three points, decided to gamble and went for a touchdown instead of kicking a game tying field goal. They were actually trailing by two, and would have surely attempted a game winning field goal instead.
It is inexcusable for an entire officiating crew to not know a simple rule, and this crew should be suspended for their actions. It marred what was one of the most exciting games played at Reedley High Stadium in quite a while. The Tigers have now lost two straight games in which they fell behind early, made a great second half comeback, and then lost on a late touchdown. The Tigers could easily be 3-0 right now, instead of 1-2.
The Tigers will attempt to even their season record with a home game this Saturday night against Gavilan College at seven p.m.
Check back every Monday evening during football season for the latest game recap and watch for some RC football interviews! And you can check out the webcasts here: www.meridix.com/everywhere.php?liveid=ReedleyCollege