Eastern Washington Loses After Blown Field Goal Ruling

Brock Fritz Headshot

The Eastern Washington University football team appeared to kick a go-ahead 24-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s game at Idaho.

However, the referee appeared to be adjusting his mask and mistakenly interpreted the ball deflecting off the scoreboard as hitting the uprights. The kick was incorrectly ruled a missed field goal and the game remained tied at 21 with 11:01 remaining. Idaho quarterback Mike Beaudry eventually threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Hayden Hatten with 54 seconds remaining as the Vandals claimed a 28-21 win in the season opener for both teams.

The Big Sky Conference released a statement on what was deemed an officiating error.

“Big Sky Conference staff in conjunction with its football coordinator of officials have reviewed the field goal attempt by Eastern Washington University with 11:06 remaining in the fourth quarter of the football game Saturday at the University of Idaho,” the statement reads. “After watching additional video footage, it is evident that the official incorrectly ruled it a missed field goal. The Big Sky acknowledges and regrets this error in officiating.

Per Rule 12-3-1-b, this play was not reviewable because the ball was higher than the top of the upright. The physical setup of the scoreboard and catwalk directly adjacent to the uprights in this endzone of the Kibbie Dome create unique conditions when determining whether a kick is good. In light of these circumstances, the Big Sky is evaluating the mechanics of where officials are located during a field goal or extra point attempt to be positioned better to evaluate these types of plays.”

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