Mass. title lost when QB celebrates winning TD
BOSTON -- A controversial call may have cost Cathedral High School the state championship when the referee threw the flag on the team’s quarterback, taking away the game-winning touchdown.
The quarterback raised his hand while running in a touchdown during Saturday’s game. Officials said the move violated the league’s taunting policy.
“I don’t think Matt did anything except out of pure player excitement. I think when someone puts the video online it really showed pure excitement,” said Jimmy Lynch, the athletic director.
Cathedral had come back from a 16-0 deficit. With minutes left in the game, quarterback Matthew Owens was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct and excessive celebration for putting his hand in the air.
“That it wasn’t done collectively. There were four different officials out there -- and even in professional football they can come together and discuss what is the best way to handle this call,” said Kenneth Owens, Matthew’s father
Cathedral entered its second state championship in school history with its first undefeated regular season. The perfect season ended with what many are calling that controversial call.
“If you don’t think he shed tears on that field, shame on you and everybody else. He is 18 years old and it was his birthday,” said Kenneth Owens.
The athletic department says their students went into the game with dignity and left with dignity.
“He’s been a great kid. He’s holding himself great. I mean, he’s a strong kid, great student athlete. I think, you know, he’ll look back on this and he’ll realize he didn’t do anything wrong,” said Lynch.
The athletic director says the call is in the hands of the MIAA -- they will look at the play and interpret the call. The MIAA will give a decision as to why the call was made the way it was or perhaps reverse the call.
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