It didn’t make my story on the thrilling Serrano-Apple Valley football game Friday night, that was won by Serrano 23-20 in overtime, but Serrano was the victim of an official’s mistake. I didn’t end up writing about it because Serrano won anyway and there was so much other stuff in the game.
Anyway, here was the situation.
Third quarter, Serrano was down 10-7 and driving. A seven-yard run by Adarius Hogan gave the Diamondbacks a first-and-10 at the Apple Valley 16.
On the first down play, Hogan rushed for four yards to the 12, but Serrano was penalized 15 yards for a personal foul. Since it was after the play, the down counted, but somehow Serrano lost an additional down along the way. The down marker looked like it showed second down from the 27 (I was on the opposite side of the field) at this point. So after quarterback Daniel Epperson lost 12 yards on the next play, it should have brought up third-and-33 from the 39. Yet somehow, the down marker said fourth.
“We knew it was a mistake,” Serrano coach Ray Maholchic said. “But we had only one timeout. If we take that timeout and they agree, we get it back. But if they don’t, we lose it.”
So Maholchic declined to take his last timeout to further the argument. So on “fourth” down, Epperson’s completion to Kyle Jergensen for 10 yards was woefully short and the ball went to Apple Valley on downs at the Sun Devils 29 with 2:07 to play in the third. It should however, have been fourth-and-23 at that point after the completion and possibly given Serrano a chance at a field goal.
“It’s inexcusable,” Maholchic said of the mistake.
As it turned out, Apple Valley went three-and-out and after a punt, Serrano went down and scored the go-ahead touchdown. It shouldn’t overshadow an otherwise great game, but it was still a bad mistake by officials.