On Saturday, Wisconsinites were stunned when referees botched a call in the closing seconds of the Wisconsin-ASU game (the refs have since been reprimanded) that led to a wild finish. But even that stunning ending may pale in comparison to the closing seconds of a Washington state high school football game form last weekend that ended in chaos and even conjures flashbacks of the famed “Stanford band” game.
Last week, Columbia River High School was trailing by by one point, 24-23, against Skyview High with seconds left. Now, Columbia lined up to kick a 32-yard field goal to try to win the game. But as the kicker went to send the ball through the uprights, Skyview players burst through the line and blocked the kick.
Immediately, the players started running off the field, arms raised and in celebration. Other players and even students started rushing the field like the Stanford band decades earlier. There was just one problem: Columbia River players never heard a whistle, so as the ball lay in front of the kicker, one player picked it up and ran toward the goal line. When he crossed, the officials raised their arms signaling a touchdown.
So what happened? Well, there’s one important rule on blocked kicks: if the ball never crosses the line of scrimmage, it’s still considered a live ball and can be advanced. No whistle means the ball never crossed that line, and Columbia River’s heads up play led them to a crazy win.
Here’s the video (note: there’s no sound):
According to the local paper, The Columbian, Columbia River coaches noticed the oversight as the ball lay there for about five seconds.
“It’s live!” They started shouting. “Pick it up!”
One player did, and for the first time in eight tries they beat their rival that sits only five miles to the south.
“Until I see the film I don’t want to make any comment,” Skyview coach Steve Kizer told the Columbian. “We should have finished the play. That’s the moral of the story.”
“To end their streak on us is the greatest feeling in the world,” Columbia River senior Reese Keller, who picked up the ball and scored the winning touchdown, added. “We want to go all out against each other. They’re our neighborhood rivals and we want to try as hard as we can to never let them win at any sport.”