The Kentucky High School Athletic Association announced Monday it has sanctioned five officials who misapplied a rule that cost Murray a touchdown in its 14-7 loss to DeSales in a Class 2-A state semifinal football game played Nov. 28 at Southern.
DeSales went on to beat Newport Central Catholic 26-0 in Friday’s Class 2-A state championship game in Bowling Green.
With DeSales leading 7-0 in the semifinal game, Murray’s Keshun Love had an 80-yard touchdown run called back after an official made contact with Murray head coach Keith Hodge on the sideline. The Murray drive later ended with an interception.
KHSAA commissioner Julian Tackett, a longtime member of the National Federation of High Schools rules committee for football, said the touchdown should have been allowed and “DeSales should have been given the option of accepting the distance penalty on the (point-after) try or on the kickoff.”
Tackett said the referee was correct in throwing the flag on the play but should have allowed the touchdown. Instead, the penalty was assessed from the spot of the contact between the official and Hodge.
“Any time an official calls a foul, they must be able to properly administer the penalty, and this was not done in this instance,” Tackett said.
The five officials involved — from the Central Kentucky Officials Association — will not be allowed to work any games during the first three weeks of the 2015 football season or beyond the first round of the playoffs. Also, the CKOA will see a reduction in its allocation of playoff games for the 2015 season, particularly in the third and fourth rounds.
“We failed in this situation, and for that I am truly sorry,” said Keith Morgan, assigning secretary for the CKOA. “We will renew our efforts to ensure that this type of situation is never repeated.”
Jason Frakes can be reached at (502) 582-4046 and followed on Twitter @kyhighs.