The Lakewood High School football team won an appeal with the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association contesting a call that affected its game last Friday at Burlington-Edison.
The dispute stemmed from game officials incorrectly spotting the ball by over 60 yards to start a Burlington-Edison possession after a wild play that featured an interception return for a touchdown by Burlington-Edison and four flags — two on each team — on the second play of the third quarter.
The Northwest Conference has ruled the game as incomplete and it will be resumed in the third quarter on Tuesday, Oct. 31, Lakewood coach Adam McShane told The Herald on Tuesday.
“I’ve never seen anything like that in my football career,” McShane said of the situation.
After recovering a fumble on a kick return near the 20-yard line, Lakewood threw an interception that was returned nearly 90 yards for a touchdown. However, Lakewood was flagged for facemask and holding calls before the interception, and Burlington-Edison received flags on the run back for illegal blocks near the initial spot of the interception and on the other side of the field at the Cougars’ 11-yard line.
Burlington-Edison declined both Lakewood penalties in order to receive possession of the ball, which would give Lakewood the opportunity to accept one of the two penalties on Burlington-Edison’s return. The Cougars didn’t get a choice.
After a lengthy on-field discussion, game officials awarded Burlington-Edison the ball at the spot marked off after the block in the back near the Lakewood end zone, which resulted in Burlington-Edison receiving the ball near the Lakewood 26 instead of inside its own 10.
McShane said he told officials immediately to record the conditions of the game because he’d be contesting the call, but that his team would continue playing.
Burlington-Edison took advantage of the short field and scored a touchdown to tie the game at 14 and went on to win 25-20. The game was Class 2A Lakewood’s Northwest Conference opener.
McShane and Lakewood athletics director Amy Hendry submitted an appeal with a video clip of the play to the WIAA following the game. McShane said they heard back within 24 hours from the organization that game officials had misapplied the rule and that the call affected the final outcome.
The Northwest Conference made the final ruling on restarting the game.
The contest will resume with approximately 11 minutes, 43 seconds remaining in the third quarter with Lakewood leading 14-7. Burlington-Edison will have possession at the spot marked off after the illegal block called near the initial point of the interception.
McShane said the game will be resumed regardless of standings implications.