Controversial ending to high school football game

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What a wacky ending to a high school football game at the Georgia Dome this weekend.

With seven seconds left in regulation, McEachern’s Nicholas St. Germain booted a clutch 47-yard field goal to tie Peachtree Ridge at 24-24 and send the game into overtime.

But wait a minute.

While McEachern was celebrating on the sidelines, the Peachtree Ridge defense didn’t budge from the field as the referees huddled. Ut oh, never a good sign if your team just made a big play.

Your opinion of final seconds of McEachern-Peachtree Ridge?

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Then the points were waved off the scoreboard.

The refs said Peachtree Ridge had called a timeout before the game-tying kick.

There were jeers from the McEachern fans which quickly turned to cheers as the special teams ran onto the field to do it all over again, with three seconds left.

St. Germain took a good look at the crossbars, bowed his head and launched another kick — this time it was wide left. Several McEachern players dropped to the ground in disappointment as Peachtree Ridge celebrated wildly for the 24-21 win.

“There was a lot of joy and getting ready for overtime,” McEachern coach Kyle Hockman said. “Nobody saw the guy blowing the whistle or waving his hands. But that’s how life goes sometimes.

How did the refs explain it to McEachern? “They said they called a timeout before they kicked it. I don’t know how that happened and no one knew it. But that’s part of the game.”

Peachtree Ridge coach Bill Ballard said he called a timeout before the first kick, organizing his defense, and telling the sideline referee that he wanted to call another timeout “as soon as the center puts his hands on the ball.”

“I told the official exactly what we wanted to do and had him come stand by me,” Ballard said. “As soon as the center put his hands on the ball, the ref starts waving his hands and everything, but the [lead official] in the white hat wasn’t looking at him. No one was looking at him.

“The ref starts running out there, and they still hadn’t snapped the ball. Finally, they snapped the ball and it was good. The official did the right thing by telling the rest of the crew that we had called the timeout. We made them kick it again and they missed it. Justin Watts did a great job putting pressure on the kicker for that second attempt.”

Now it’s YOUR turn. What was your version of events for the final seconds? You make the call. Please post below.

RELATED: Tribute to slain McEachern player Rajaan Bennett (click here)

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104 comments Add your comment

HSFBFan

August 22nd, 2010
2:48 pm

That is unsportsmanlike HS coaching. Shame on you PTR.

rwdekalb

August 22nd, 2010
2:53 pm

An unfortunate ending to an exciting game. But McEachern could be the sleeper in 5A.

RidgeDawg

August 22nd, 2010
3:12 pm

HSFBFan, how is that unsportsmanlike? That technique has become very common place in football today. Plus, Ballard said he called the timeout as soon as the center put his hands on the ball, and didn’t then wait to try to time it to the last millisecond. I know that’s an incredibly tough way for McEachern to lose a game, but that’s just smart football!

By the way, both teams looked pretty darn good, and I think both should be playing until well into late November or December. (PR’s offense ended up doing better than I thought they would.) And as a Ridge supporter, my heart still goes out to the McEachern community over the loss of Rajaan Bennett. From everything I’ve read, it sounds like he was a very special young man! Good luck, Indians, until maybe we see you again in the playoffs…

Quinn of the Ridge

August 22nd, 2010
3:20 pm

Since when is icing the kicker unsportsmanlike? That’s the first time I’ve ever heard that.

Ziggy

August 22nd, 2010
3:23 pm

Who cares? It’s just high school football.

Howard

August 22nd, 2010
3:26 pm

Don’t blame Peachtree Ridge…that referee should have alerted his colleagues what was coming…he had the time to have done it. Blame the zebras for this one.

keep it fair

August 22nd, 2010
3:56 pm

the coach should not have been able to plot his plans with the referee. that makes the ref pulling for the coaches team which is being partial that isNOT fair to the other team . Ga’s referereeing is full of it !! LET THE YOUNG MEN PLAY PTR’S COACH IS DIRT and the ref also!!

Zacky

August 22nd, 2010
3:57 pm

Professional, college or high school, that is a sad way to win a football game. Win by playing the best not little tricks. This does not teach sportsmanship, just trickery and there is too much trickery in the world already.

rex

August 22nd, 2010
4:04 pm

just a terrible terrible rule !
for any level of football it is a bad rule
gotta get that stuff changed, no private conversations with the ref to plot strategy.
change that rule ASAP

Layla Kiffin

August 22nd, 2010
4:21 pm

I agree that the problem is the rule- it needs to be tweeked to avoid this scenerio at all levels of football. I always hope that the kicker misses the kick when the last second timeout is called and makes the kick after the timeout. If it happens enough, these coaches will start to think twice about this low rent move.

We All Lose

August 22nd, 2010
4:45 pm

The official should be immediately fired. Not suspend, not reprimanded, but terminated immediately. It’s not the coach’s prerogative to tell him where to stand and by standing beside the coach awaiting his timeout call, the official consorted in a shameful end to an otherwise hard-fought football game. The Peachtree Ridge coach will get no mercy from any team this year. This is a cowardly tactic that teaches the kids that sometimes cheaters do in fact win.

poopdawg

August 22nd, 2010
4:55 pm

Unsportmanship? Ever play any ball? That why they officials. Good coaching!

Tim

August 22nd, 2010
4:56 pm

Agree with “we all lose” but this issue – stolen from the strategic pros who love to make a guy kick twice – should also be dealt with by the GHSA. Once the center’s hands go on the ball, no defensive timeouts. Simple and fair to both sides. If it’s not dealt with, this will happen time and time again.

Tim

August 22nd, 2010
5:02 pm

I agree with “we all lose” in terms of the official should be in normal position and not taking “advance orders” from the coach on timeouts. But I do not think the Peachtree Ridge coach did anything wrong. The icing of kickers is common. The abuse needs to be dealt with by Ralph Swearingen et al.

Quinn of the Ridge

August 22nd, 2010
5:07 pm

I don’t see how it’s trickery. This is being overhyped by a bunch of upset McEachern fans. I guarantee that Kyle Hockman would’ve done the same thing had we been kicking the field goal.

U cry babies

August 22nd, 2010
5:07 pm

Shut up, you bunch of babies!!! If you have played or coached the game of football, you do anything to win. Coach Ballard didnt break any rules and the other coach would have done the same thing…GROW UP!!!

Justafan

August 22nd, 2010
5:12 pm

Just a bad rule they got from pros…Ralph and his GHSA clones will never change it unless the powers that be will put pressure him. never happen.

Marietta fan

August 22nd, 2010
5:12 pm

if you watch the end of the game you can see the ref was clearly late at waving his arms and blowing the whistle. the ball and kick is off by the time his arms were in the air. bad call but you cant change it.. i hope these team meet again in the playoffs both good teams… not trying to take anything away from the PTR team but in my opinion bad call.

Quinn of the Ridge

August 22nd, 2010
5:12 pm

Said exactly what I wanted to say ^.

joe

August 22nd, 2010
5:14 pm

Agree with Tim………….

OMacG

August 22nd, 2010
5:22 pm

Yes, a tough way to lose…but thankfully it didn’t occur in a quarterfinal playoff game. I agree that Coach Ballard was only playing by the rules in place. If there was any error involved with that play, it’s that the referee who made the time out call should be MUCH more emphatic in being clear that he is calling for time, IMO.

Score Man

August 22nd, 2010
5:34 pm

We All Lose

August 22nd, 2010
5:34 pm

No horse in the race, played football and coached at the college level. I stand by the statement. This isn’t good coaching and “they do it at the other levels,” doesn’t make it okay. Two teams played extremely hard, only to have it sullied. There are rules and there are ethics. High school often is that last chance we have in these formative years to teach these kids that they both matter.

Drago

August 22nd, 2010
5:43 pm

Good gamesmanship. Bad sportsmanship. Live by the sword, die by the sword.

TTTT-Thumbody Thed Thats Thupid!

August 22nd, 2010
5:56 pm

As an objective poster, with no dog in the hunt, this is a little on the “cheap” side. As another poster said there should be no timeout allowed after the center puts his hands on the ball. That’s why I hate the ump calling a timeout when a pitcher is already in his windup, with the batter in the box. I could understand this being allowed in the pros, as that is grown men being paid, but this tactic should be outlawed in high school and college football. Win fair and square or don’t win at all.

Grady

August 22nd, 2010
5:56 pm

It’s not bad sportsmanship. It’s good coaching. Refs and coaches have conversations all the time. Are you going to tell me they shouldn’t be able to tell the ref on a fourth quater drive “hey, we want a timeout as soon as the play is dead” so he can stop the clock or “hey, when the play clock hits 1 second, we want a timeout” He still has to call timeout. That is part of the line judges job. It’s not bad anything. Its part of the game. Grow up. McEachern lost because their kid couldn’t hit the shot twice.

aztec

August 22nd, 2010
6:06 pm

hey ziggy, you must be one those person who buy tickets and support pro sports, no respect for anyone who supports pro players or owners

Porky

August 22nd, 2010
6:08 pm

What kind of name is Corky? And what is a corky kell?

dumb rule

August 22nd, 2010
6:20 pm

just another stupid rule in the game. Consecutive timeouts should not be allowed. Once the snapper is is with hands on ball, no time outs. These crazy timeout calls have made the game a farce.

John Facenda

August 22nd, 2010
6:23 pm

It’s all legal but it’s a jagoff trick. I just wish the kid made the kick to show the clown up.

Gamesman special

August 22nd, 2010
6:24 pm

Yeah, it takes great coaching to ice that 16 year old.

Only a punk coach would do that.

SickandTired

August 22nd, 2010
6:25 pm

Well there’s a little problem with the calling of that timeout by Coach Ballard. He was on the field when he called the timeout. He was out of the coaches box so he could “be in the ear” of the official. They have made a concerted effort with the officials to keep the coaches back and in the coaches box, so not only should he not have been allowed the timeout, Peachtree Ridge should have been flagged for Ballard being out of the box and on the field. Poor officiating and poor judgement by the coach. McEachern unfortunately bears the brunt of this situation. The video bears this assessment out.

Clyde Barrow

August 22nd, 2010
6:27 pm

Same thing last year at the Norcross/ milton Basketball game… Typicial GHSA Bull….it., The refs have their own agenda. Again taking away the game.

UGA 75

August 22nd, 2010
6:43 pm

Like several others I have no dog in the hunt here, but “Sick & Tired” hit the nail on the head, the coach should have been penalized for being out of the box. Other than that I agree that the GHSA is the most political group I’ve ever seen and that while you can’t accuse someone of taking a bribe unless you see the money change hands, but enough calls made in any schools direction can easily change a HS game and penalize kids who have played their hearts out. The official did not do his job and should be suspended until they need him to $crew something else up.

Norton

August 22nd, 2010
6:44 pm

Corky Kell was a high school football coach. No relation to “Sloppy Floyd” lol

Ralph

August 22nd, 2010
6:50 pm

GHSA is a corrupt as Atlanta politics…These officials take the game away from the kids. I did not go this year to the Corky Kell classic. I have seen this before, at the state basketball tournaments, officials making calls after the game was over…You would think that the officials at the “Showcase games” would be, the best of the bunch. when all they are is a bunch….

bob

August 22nd, 2010
6:56 pm

This tactic needs to be banned at all levels. There is no winner. Many times the kicker misses and gets to kick over. All it does is give fans and players a bitter taste in their mouth about the game of football.

McEachern Day Care

August 22nd, 2010
6:59 pm

I didn’t realize that it was the coach’s fault the other team’s kicker missed a field goal… wow, so much power that opposing coach has! I can’t believe all the whining and crying by you guys. “The coach was on the field” and “It’s bad sportsmanship to call a timeout”… blah blah blah. If you were smart enough to save your timeouts, then use them. If you’re allowed to call two in a row, call two in a row. It’s not cheating, it’s not bad sportsmanship, it’s playing within the rules and making a smart strategic decision. And by the way, coaches at every level stand right next to the nearest official to call a timeout like that.

Only poor sportsmanship is by all you whiny babies that can’t accept that your team lost. Man up and stop trying to find some technicality or unwritten rule to justify it.

24-21… accept it.

Coolest in the Clutch

August 22nd, 2010
7:01 pm

.
… … Nesbitt for Heisman
.

OMacG

August 22nd, 2010
7:21 pm

Day Care, I don’t think it’s only Mac folks disagreeing with the play. But LMAO at you handle- very creative.

john

August 22nd, 2010
7:46 pm

what I would like to see… after being “iced” the next time they line up, the kicker tells the official he is going to call a time out as soon as the center touches the ball, then do it, have the center snap it directly to the kicker who drop kicks it right at the fat arse coach that “iced” him to begin with, oops…. Then start the whole play over again, with the entire stadium ridiculing the coach and loving the kicker!

Nick

August 22nd, 2010
7:51 pm

I love how this gets twisted. He told the ref he wanted a time out and now we have guys saying he was bribed to change the game?

Watch any football game at any level. Coaches tell refs all the time things they want to happen if this happens or that happens. Happens in every sport come to think of it. Ladies he did not break any rules. He did not pay anybody any cash to call a timeout. He asked the ref to call a time out and he did. Story over. The ref does not have the best reaction time. Oh well. The ref had granted him timeout. End of story…

GSUfootball2010

August 22nd, 2010
8:00 pm

Dont have a dog in the fight either. here is my view of it, I was there. Didn’t see Ballard on the field calling a timeout, but i wasn’t watching him either. I havent seen the video of it yet, hasnt quite loaded to the end. But honestly, its football. Icing the kicker is part of the game. Sure it’s high school and sure he is 16 years old. But I’m sorry, when was football ever suppose to be a “nice” game? If you say you shouldn’t ice a high school kid, well I just don’t get it. High School is to prepare kids for college. Pretty sure at the college level, kickers will be iced. Kid needs to get used to it. I mean he is a kicker. Once you are at this stage, plus with this Kids talent (which he has a ton) kicking is all mental. In college, they will continue to play games with his head and ice him. Now he is a little more prepared for that. I think it’s a fine play by Coach Ballard. It’s football. Get over it.

All in all, that Kicker is great. Every kickoff was in the endzone. Every extra point was nearly at the top of the Crowd Net. And his first FG he made from a long distance and had plenty to spare. Good kicker, just had one bad kick. But McEachern will be fine. They are an outstanding team and Hockman is a great coach. That delayed counter killed PTR all night. I say McEachern stays in the Top 10 most of the year and makes a deep run in the playoffs. As for PTR, if they can gash teams every game like the eventually did against McEachern with that stupid Wing T Formation or whatever it is, then they will be strong as well. But if the offense sputters all season like the 1st quarter last night, then the Defense will have to step up. And That PTR Defense is stout. Who knew Tyler Botts was that fast? I think PTR will still lose at least a game this season. And it may be against NG at the end of the season. That will be a good game.

raleturn

August 22nd, 2010
8:11 pm

Perhaps it is semantics, but if the play took place as described above then the field goal should have counted since the coach did not call time out. He only told the refree what he wanted to do. To me he has to call the time out when the center touches the ball and not tell the official ahead of time that is his intentions. I wonder if the coach from Peachtree Ridge would have acknowledge such if he missed the 1st one, but stuck the 2nd one.

md

August 22nd, 2010
8:17 pm

No dog in the fight, but each team gets 3 time outs to use however they wish – sounds like sour grapes to me.

Fair Observer

August 22nd, 2010
8:17 pm

Like many other people I do not have a dog in the fight, but I think this disdain for the Peachtree Ridge Coach/ref is completely over blown.

1. A referee has the job of enforcing the rules, not creating them, and that is what he did. Every coach, in EVERY game confers with the ref about when he wants a timeout to be officially called (I want a timeout with 2 seconds on the play clock etc). And by the rules a time out is given not when it is officially signaled, but when it is acknowledged by the referee. While it may be unfortunate that the play went through and Mac had the hardship of re-doing a play, thats the way the rules work.

2. To say it is un-sportsman like to ice a kicker, give me a break. This is sports, by choosing to be on the team you are choosing to put yourself in a situation that can be high stress/high emotion/high risk/reward. If the kid was going to get the glory form making the kick, then he has to deal with the agony of missing it

3. As far as the coach being out of the box, that is something that all coaches do, even so they can be penalized. For us as observers to know if a coach had received a warning (like a sideline warning), which is customary, is imposable to know.

4. Take it for what it is worth, Mac could of beaten PTRidge, but they didn’t. Use it as motivation, and don’t pamper your kids.

BehindEnemyLines

August 22nd, 2010
8:40 pm

No dog in this fight either but it’s pretty obvious McE fans need to stop whining over the fact that PTR’s coach did his job and that the refs got the call right.

footballfan

August 22nd, 2010
8:51 pm

If its true that Coach Ballard told the referee he was going to call T.O. before the snap, and if he did….. then its the referee’s fault for not blowing it dead sooner

GaPeach

August 22nd, 2010
8:58 pm

@Porky. Corky Kell was one of the best football coaches and teachers in Cobb County. He not only coached football at the high school level but in his younger years coached little league football. My husband considers it a privilege to have played youth football for Coach Kell. Kell High School was named after this wonderful man, teacher, coach and athletic director for Cobb County Schools to honor his desire to see children learn both on and off the field. The Corky Kell Classic raises money each year for scholarships. While I know this information first-hand, one quick Google search of his name most likely would have given you much of this information to make your question not so condescending and backward!

McE ex

August 22nd, 2010
8:58 pm

Perhaps if McEachern paid as much attention to the discipline issues in the school as they do to their football team, they would be producing far fewer thugs.