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2011 IN REVIEW: Fans cry foul on unsportsmanlike conduct penalty

By BY MIKE FORMAN, MFORMAN@VICAD.COM
Dec. 27, 2011 at 6:27 a.m.
Updated Dec. 28, 2011 at 6:28 a.m.

Senior wide receiver Darius Callies bows his head as Blanco ties up the game 14-14 in the second quarter Saturday, Nov. 12.

NO. 5 STORY OF THE YEAR :: Anytime game officials aren't mentioned in a story is a good thing. And Edna's playoff game against Blanco in early November was no different.

As long as the officials remain anonymous it usually means they are doing their jobs.

Occasionally the officials will be mentioned for a rule interpretation.

But when officials figure prominently in a story, that's generally not a good sign.

The Corpus Christi officials who worked Edna's Class 2A, Division I bi-district playoff football game against Blanco found themselves under a microscope.

An official threw a flag on Edna receiver Darius Callies for raising his index finger before he went into the end zone on what appeared to be a touchdown pass late in the third quarter that would have given the Cowboys a 26-21 lead pending the extra point.

The official penalized the Cowboys 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct, nullifying the touchdown in the process.

What made the call even more disturbing was a Blanco's Tyler Brown had raised his hand in a similar manner before scoring a touchdown earlier in the game and was not penalized.

Edna fumbled two plays after the unsportsmanlike conduct penalty backed it up to the 18-yard line and wound up losing 21-20.

After watching video of the two plays, fans across the state voiced their displeasure with the call. Edna coach Mike Pierce said it was the worst call he had seen in 27 years of coaching football.

Pierce felt the officials had overstepped their role, and had a direct impact on the outcome of the game.

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