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Old Wed Dec 03, 2008, 08:04am
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Controversial Ending in Florida Playoff Game

I think the link has a video but I am unable to see it on the computer I am using now.

Dunbar shows class in spite of controversy | news-press.com | The News-Press


Dunbar shows class in spite of controversy

Sam Cook
[email protected]

The greatest catch of Javian Battle's prep football career turned out to be a bummer.

"It didn't sink in until (Monday),'' says Battle, a senior at Dunbar High. "That was my last high school game.''

This isn't the way prep football games should end - decided when one official overrules another's touchdown signal. The reversal preserved Naples' 17-14 victory against Dunbar in Friday's Class 4A-3 Region semifinal at Staver Field.

"I know I had possession of the ball, but (the official) told me I was out of bounds,'' Battle says. "The tape clearly shows it was a touchdown.''

By 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, the disputed play had been replayed 1,400 times in 25 hours on news-press.com.

Florida High School Athletic Association Rule 12.3.3 says "The decisions of contest officials shall be final.'' The rule also says schools should file reports of unsatisfactory performances by officials.

Dunbar Principal Carl Burnside and coach Phil Vogt sent clips of the play to the FHSAA.

Burnside, who took the reins when Dunbar reopened in 2000 after closing for integration in 1969, didn't have to wait long for a silver lining Friday night.

"Our kids were devastated, but they really handled the loss with class and dignity,'' he says. "It was a great football game. Life lessons are learned from losing. We had a magnificent season. We're well-coached. We're disciplined."

"The best is yet to come for Dunbar football,'' Burnside said.

Vogt, who has coached at Dunbar for three years, says the uniform carries responsibilities.

"Above all, when we wear that uniform, we represent the school,'' he says. "You gotta be under control.''

Naples coach Bill Kramer, who runs the best program in Southwest Florida, says he wouldn't expect Dunbar players to react any other way.

"They behaved like champions,'' he says. "That's what champions in sport do: They're humble when they win and resilient when they lose.''

No fan wants a controversial call to decide a game, but host Dunbar benefitted from a reset Oct. 17 against Fort Myers.

Green Wave coaches and players said the clock ran out, but officials ruled the Tigers called time out with two seconds left. Junior Jorvonte Jones then took a pass 28 yards for a touchdown and a 21-15 Dunbar victory as time ran out.

Let's replay Friday's pivotal play:

Receiver Battles and Naples defensive back Mark Pearson stretched for the ball with the game hanging in the balance.

Pearson had good position in front of Battle, yet the Tigers senior reached over his foe to grasp his half of the ball.

The players took several steps and tumbled out of the back of the end zone, holding the ball with all their might.

The closest official signaled touchdown, which would have pushed Dunbar ahead 20-17 with 10.6 seconds remaining.

But the sideline official, gesturing the players were past the end line, waved off the score. The officials huddled and declared the pass incomplete.

According to the rule book, when two players share possession, the offensive player prevails. In this case, touchdown Dunbar.

I watched the tape 25 times. It appears Pearson and Battle both snugly hold the ball without juggling as they fall out of bounds. I sent the tape to my stepson, Carl Tipton, a football coach at Lake Mary High, north of Orlando. He says the officials made the correct call.

But the officials, who were from Broward County, don't have the luxury of replay.

"I saw the video as a call that could have gone either way,'' Kramer says. "The officials do the very best they can. I've been on the other side of it.''

Contacted Tuesday by The News-Press, John Craven, president of the Broward Football Officials Association, said "Per FHSAA policy we can't comment to the media.''

Spokeswoman Christina Alvarez says the FHSAA never overturns officials' decisions.

"The referees are an extension of the FHSAA,'' she says. "When they make a call, we trust their judgment.''

Fans debate judgment calls in sports for decades, but the night wasn't a total loss for Dunbar.

Battle, the almost-hero, says a winner's qualities are important - especially when you lose.

"Something told us to keep our cool,'' he says. "We didn't want to be known as the team that lost and got mad.''
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Old Wed Dec 03, 2008, 08:29am
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How about the crew with the black long sleeves under their short sleeve shirts?

Okay, looks like the back judge is closest, which isn't always an advantage. It appears as though the players largely have their backs or sides to him, and they're in a crowd, so he may only have been able to determine feet in bounds.

The wing (?) on the side is farther away, but may have a better angle looking in on the play. Without knowing what his thought process might have been, it could have been that he saw a juggle that we couldn't possibly have seen in a tiny video, and that he ruled that the A player didn't keep possession.

Don't know. Tough play. This is why we get the big bucks.
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Old Wed Dec 03, 2008, 08:32am
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I thought Florida used 7 man crews in the playoffs?
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Old Wed Dec 03, 2008, 12:30pm
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Maybe they do. And that's a field judge or side judge down there instead of a wing.

But it only appeared to me, at first viewing, as if there are two officials covering the play, one with end line responsibility and one with sideline responsibility. One should have feet and line, the other possession, in a perfect world.

Again, we weren't privvy to their discussion or rationale and likely never will be. But you'd think that if there are two guys right there, they have a better look that we could on a web video that I tried to download but couldn't.
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Old Wed Dec 03, 2008, 12:56pm
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looks like a textbook both inbounds "SC" to me. Would like to know why or what the reason for the other officials ruling to not call it that way.

Man, did you see the team-A players giving to #68 after he false started in the early part of that video. Sheezh... take it easy guys, it's not as if you never did anything bad in a game before.
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Old Wed Dec 03, 2008, 02:06pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Theisey View Post
Man, did you see the team-A players giving to #68 after he false started in the early part of that video. Sheezh... take it easy guys, it's not as if you never did anything bad in a game before.
Not just the players, the player was pulled from the game and was getting it from the coaches too. My guess is that this wasn't the first time he was flagged for something in this game.
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Old Wed Dec 03, 2008, 03:14pm
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Three quickies on this, couple have already made mention....but;
1--based on my small monitor...it looks to me that i have a simultaneous possession with each player with one foot inbounds. TD. And I hope the ref is miked.

2--they all forgot their longsleeved shirts???

3-- i guess with the blue teams win, everything is ok with #68.
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Old Wed Dec 03, 2008, 05:02pm
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That was a lousy video to make a judgment on.

I wonder if those guys in FL even own long sleeves?
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Old Wed Dec 03, 2008, 06:35pm
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OK Got to see it now. Impossible to tell one way or the other as we cannot see if perhaps ball was loose somewhat as the players went OOB Perhaps that is what the B saw The body language of both B and F do not sell the call, whatever it was. F's body language looks more like" you got what?" then it does that HE has anything. B is too far off the end line and is moving when he should be stationary You see better when not moving and he was close enough to rule without getting as close as he did get F might have been able to help tell what was going on with the ball but would not be of much help at all with the endline.
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Old Wed Dec 03, 2008, 08:43pm
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Naples Daily News : News, Weather and Entertainment for Southwest Florida

Go to this newspaper website and check out the video they have on right hand side of page It is from back of end zone and they even include rulebook quotes. Interestingly this is the newspaper of the town where the team is from that ended up with the W
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Old Wed Dec 03, 2008, 11:21pm
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Good video. Erases any doubt about the ball being possessed securely.
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Old Thu Dec 04, 2008, 12:10am
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That there looks like a touchdown to me.
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Old Thu Dec 04, 2008, 07:48am
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This is a fantastic use to slow motion replay, highlighting elements such as the catch, feet inbounds, and quoting the rulebook and casebook is even better. Whoever put this video together should get a very high grade when it comes to raise time! LOL

I would like to know what was said that convinced the official in the video to change his call.
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Old Thu Dec 04, 2008, 08:00am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TXMike View Post
Naples Daily News : News, Weather and Entertainment for Southwest Florida

Go to this newspaper website and check out the video they have on right hand side of page It is from back of end zone and they even include rulebook quotes. Interestingly this is the newspaper of the town where the team is from that ended up with the W
Geez, guys (not us, the paper that produced this video), this is a high school game. It's great that they took the time and effort to become educated about the rules pertaining to this situation. It certainly looks like a simultaneous catch to me, but I'm sitting in front of a computer and not on the field of play. But was surprises me, is that the paper went through such extrodinary measures to show what they feel is an error in a high school game! It seems that these types of critical articles are popping up more and more in relation to high school games. Errors occur unfortunately. I don't understand team's desires to immediately call their lawyer when they feel they've been robbed. It's detrimental to HS sports.
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Old Thu Dec 04, 2008, 09:58am
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Quote:
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I don't understand team's desires to immediately call their lawyer when they feel they've been robbed.
Welcome to America, 2008.
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