An Oklahoma County judge denied a plea from a high school football team to have a state quarterfinal matchup replayed after a referee’s blatant error cost the team a chance to advance.
Locust Grove met Frederick A. Douglass in the class 3A playoffs and was leading 20-19 with 64 seconds remaining in a game on November 28. Douglass momentarily took the lead on a 58-yard touchdown pass, but the play was negated after a coach unintentionally bumped a referee as they were charging down the sidelines and was called for a penalty. Douglass had been warned about interfering earlier in the game, and instead of being assessed a five-yard penalty on the extra point or the ensuing kick off, as the rule was intended, the touchdown was waved off, likely costing them the game.
The Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association called the error “inexcusable,” but eventually denied an appeal, prompting Douglass to take the issue to court. The Oklahoma County judge ruled on Thursday that the game wouldn’t be replayed.
“There is neither statute nor case law allowing this court discretion to order the replay of a high school football game,” Judge Bernard Jones said. He also added that it would be best if the courts didn’t intervene in such matters as it could set a dangerous precedent.