More and more inter-sectional games between ranked high school teams are on television each year. Over the last two weekends, eight different games were broadcast to nationwide audiences. One of the more intriguing match-ups was Glenville High School in Cleveland against Dwyer High School from Palm Beach Gardens, FL.The game was played Labor Day afternoon at Ohio Stadium in Columbus. With three and a half minutes remaining, Glenville led 26-22, but Dwyer was marching down the field. A touchdown pass was then called back as the receiver was allegedly out of bounds. Replays showed clearly his knee was in-bounds and the play should have been ruled a touchdown. Later, now on the one-yard line, a Dwyer quarterback sneak looked to be an apparent touchdown but there was no signal from the referee. Then, with 30 seconds to go, another quarterback sneak resulted in the entire offensive line pushing the Glenville defensive line into the end zone. The result: another no call from the official. Time ran out. Game over. While it was debatable if the first sneak was a touchdown, there’s no doubt the second one was. Replays confirmed it.
The Dwyer team was outraged as so they should. It was homerism at its worst. It reminded me of the Russian-USA basketball gold medal game in 1972 when the Soviets stole the game when ‘extra seconds’ were put on the game clock. What made this almost as bad was that all of the officials were in the vicinity of the goal line. Worse that that, there was no explanation from any of the game officials or the Ohio State High School Officials Federation. There was no apology.
Replays are now used for both college and NFL games. Why not, now, for a nationally televised high school match-up? ESPN certainly has the equipment to provide the technology. But one thing is certain. Teams are now going to think twice before going to Ohio to play a nationally televised inter-sectional game.