This season, we’ve seen two new and unexpected ways for high school games to end on missed field goals. There was the “blocked field goal returned by the kicking team” and the “missed field goal so short the other team spikes it with totally disastrous consequences”. Suffice it to say, that’s about all the madness we can expect from game-ending field goals and oh god here we go again.
That’s a screenshot of a last-second field goal attempt by the Merrill F. West High Wolf Pack of Tracy, CA, against local rivals Edison High. Edison was protecting a 22-21 lead, but West’s Adam Crandall was sent out to kick a 35-yarder to win it. This being high school, Crandall’s kick of modest distance still hit the crossbar, but then apparently bounced over for the victory. Slight problem; as you can see above, the referee is ducking out of the way, and thus not watching the ball. You can probably guess what ensued.
Edison’s varsity football team came back to beat West, 22-21.
The outcome hinged on a last-second field goal by Wolf Pack senior kicker Adam Crandall. That much is fact, but things got blurry after Crandall booted the ball.
The officials, who were not available for comment after the game, called the kick no good. Vikings players happily ran onto the field, but then there was hesitation and confusion. West players started to celebrate. After that, a referee waved his arms again to signal a miss.
“We know we won,” Wolf Pack (1-6 overall, 0-2 Tri-City Athletic League) senior running back Dexter Alcala said. “Hopefully, we protest it, but there’s nothing you can do about it. You just have to move on.
“I’ll put my life on it, that the ball went past (the crossbar). That’s how confident I am that that ball crossed that post.”
West head coach Steve Lopez echoed Alcala’s sentiments.
“It hit the crossbar and went through,” he said. “That was the commotion. But the officials didn’t see it.”
Fortunately for all parties involved, the STOCKTON RECORD had a reporter there with a video camera. The game film itself isn’t enabled for embedding (Neanderthals, the lot of you!), but you can watch game highlights here (the play in question comes right after the 3:00 mark).
Yes, erm, ahem, tugonthecollar, that was a tough call, really. Perhaps it was one last bewitching of the high school football world by the Charles Magnasco Stadium, where Edison played its last football game ever; the facility will give way to a $46 million facility for next season.
So now the big question is, can the high school association review this play and overturn the game if necessary? After all, the field goal was the last play of a one-point game, and there’s pretty apparent evidence that the kick actually went through the uprights (if there’s any doubt about where the ball bounces after it hits the crossbar, by the way, watch the ballboy). Really, if the association doesn’t step in here, when do they? And if they never do, what purpose do they serve?