How a team lost a football game without ever touching the ball

How a team lost a football game without ever touching the ball

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How a team lost a football game without ever touching the ball

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Lightning affected several games in Tennessee this past weekend, including this one at Montgomery Bell in Nashville. (Photo: The Tennessean)

Lightning affected several games in Tennessee this past weekend, including this one at Montgomery Bell in Nashville. (Photo: The Tennessean)

A perplexing high school football result came this weekend from Chapel Hill, Tenn., where Forrest High picked up a 7-0 win over Moore County (Lynchburg, Tenn.) High.

Here is the catch: Forrest won despite the game being called before Moore County’s offense touched the ball. Lightning struck in the area after the Rockets’ score on the opening drive, suspending the game.

The contest never restarted Friday and Moore County director of schools Chad Moorehead said his school wasn’t returning Saturday with eight region games remaining on the schedule.

It’s how a team does in the region that determines which squads make the playoffs. Overall record only comes in when breaking ties.

So who decided Forrest won?

There was talk between coaches and officials on what the score should be when someone finally said it should be 7-0.

But how do you declare a winner when an opposing quarterback never took a snap? This isn’t the way to declare an outcome of a high school football game.

Would Forrest have won had the game been played in its entirety? More than likely. Forrest had outscored Moore County 86-0 the previous three seasons combined.

But at least Moore County would have had a fair shot.

Look, lightning affected numerous games across the state over the weekend. Three involving Midstate teams were declared no-contests — Clarksville Academy at Eagleville, Columbia Academy at Franklin Road Academy and Lipscomb Academy at Page.

The TSSAA is still waiting to see if Houston and Henry County will finish their postponed game.

Forrest and Moore County should be included in this list of no-contests.

The National Federation of High Schools rule book states: “Games interrupted because of events beyond the control of the responsible administrative authority shall be continued from the point of interruption, unless the teams agree to terminate the game with the existing score or as otherwise provided for by state association adoption.”

TSSAA executive director Bernard Childress further expanded on it Monday, stating that if teams can’t mutually agree on restarting the game at a later date then it’s a no-contest.

That’s something Moore County first-year coach Jason Dobbs didn’t know when he was huddled with game officials, administration and Forrest coaches. He didn’t know he could say no to an unfair 7-0 final score.

Instead his team was given a loss. It’s up to the TSSAA to change it.

For more on Tennessee high school football, visit the Tennessean

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