Georgia State Championship winning touchdown. The winning touchdown in Georgia’s high school football State Championship Game has gone viral — for the wrong reasons.

The Sandy Creek High School Patriots of Tyrone, Georgia defeated Cedar Grove High School Saints of Tyrone, Georgia in the state’s 3A High School Football Championship Game on Saturday. Sandy Creek came away with a 21-17 win. The winning score came with less than a minute left. That score was controversial — going viral for all of the wrong reasons.

With 59 seconds remaining, the Patriots lined up for a third-and-goal from the two-yard line. The play was a quarterback keeper, which the Saints were ready for. Sandy Creek’s quarterback was clearly stopped short of the goal line. With that, the game would be decided on fourth down. Only, that’s not what happened. The referees ruled that the runner had scored.

Another view of the play does nothing to help the referees.

Several Patriots did go into the end zone on the play. The ball carrier, though, was not one of them.

Unsurprisingly, this call drew a lot of outrage from people seeing the video.

Obviously, instant replay isn’t practical for all of high school football. Most games are not televised and most of the video comes from parents in the stands. Games like this, though, are televised. And if it’s televised and a state championship game, there’s no reason to not make replay available. Major League Baseball has left and right field umpires in the playoffs. It’s fine to deviate from the norm if it’s possible and the stakes are high enough. That was the case here.

Unfortunately, we’ve seen similar refereeing issues this season. The kind of mistakes that are at best, incompetent and at worse, devious. And it’s awfully hard to see how anyone could have seen this play and thought it was a touchdown.

[Ronnell Brown, Born to Compete]

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