Day After Report (My “official” take on the BG-Heritage game)

I’ve seen the video, and you can, too. The third-down play. The fourth-down play. One of the advantages of living in 2012 is there is video of every play from every game. Someone has the video. Just a matter of getting it online.

(You can see it on the 360preps page of Facebook. Courtesy of Battle Ground football.)

So, yeah, I’ve seen the video.

Unfortunately, it is not an angle from the goal line. This is, after all, high school football. The NFL crews from CBS, Fox, NBC, and ESPN will not be arriving in Battle Ground any time soon.

So did Kevin Haynes get the ball into the end zone for the Battle Ground Tigers on Friday night?

Yes. Yes he did.

Well, technically, I better say in my opinion, he did. And that’s a professional opinion, from a guy who watches football for a living and is pretty good at this observational stuff. Still, it wasn’t a perfect angle, the video, and we never actually see where the ball is, so it is possible the ball never made it to the white line. Which means it is possible the officials got it right.

Common sense tells me that Haynes did score, though.

That, and $5 will get you a drink at Starbucks.

So, for the sake of argument for the rest of this blog post, let’s just say the Tigers should have been awarded a touchdown on one of those plays, and that it was a bad spot, or bad spots.

Now what?

Battle Ground players and fans should be upset. It is frustrating to watch your team come up short, especially when you know in your heart your team scored.

Yet that is no excuse to question another person’s integrity. An official’s worst nightmare is to miss a call that has a direct impact on the game. These officials will see the videos. Perhaps there was something they could have done better, mechanics wise, to be in a better position to see the ball.

Maybe the officials could have been quicker to get to the pile. I can see from the video at least one error. No one is stopping the clock. It was fourth down. At the end of the play, the clock should have stopped. Touchdown or change of possession. The officials will use this video to their advantage, learn from it.

But that’s where it should end. A mistake or two on the field.

(Some say there was at least one more “terrible” call against Battle Ground in the first half. That might be true, but we also know that in the course of the game, there were likely calls that went against Heritage, too. So let’s keep the discussion pointed toward the end of the game.)

Many BG fans have commented on our site, have e-mailed the officials association, have called for an investigation. Some have seriously accused the officials of being for Heritage. Another said the crew should never work again.

Of course, those who believe that should also question their own players’ integrity.

Heritage’s final touchdown was set up by an interception. Then, on the return, there was a face mask penalty that put the Timberwolves at the Battle Ground 14-yard line.

Using the same rationale that questioned an official’s integrity, should we not wonder if the quarterback threw the ball to the Timberwolves on purpose? Did the intended receiver mess up on his route? Clearly, that was intentional. Or what about the guy who grabbed the face mask? He MUST be for Heritage, right?

Absurd, isn’t it?

Listen, there are 22 players on the field for each play and a five-man officiating crew. That means there are 27 human beings, each with the potential for making a mistake every play.

An official missing a call is the same as a running back fumbling the ball with no one around him. It happens, but we do not question the integrity of the running back.

Upset over a call? Have every right. Want to voice your opinion that the call was wrong? Go for it. As sports fans, a rant can make us feel better. It is a stress reliever.

But to accuse an official of being for one team, against another, without any Tim Donaghy-like proof, is crossing the line.

Unless, of course, you want to hold your own players to the same standard. If your players miss a block, rough the quarterback, fumble the ball, are you willing to question their integrity?

Didn’t think so.

By Saturday, Battle Ground coach Larry Peck summed it up best.

“I’m a big boy. We’ll live. We’ll move on,” he said.

I’ll have more notes from Week 7 of the high school football season after the NFL games today.

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