CLINTON – Ripley’s official protest of a controversial loss to Rosa Fort on Friday has been denied by the Mississippi High School Activities Association, according to principal Jeff Palmer. Palmer filed the protest Monday afternoon.
The play in question was the final play of Ripley’s 33-27 loss to Rosa Fort. Ripley quarterback Dalton James appeared to score on an untimed down from the Rosa Fort 4-yard line.
The play-side line official signaled touchdown, while the opposite line judge said James’ knee touched at the 1-yard line. The touchdown was waved off.
Ripley’s protest was based on the handling of the call because the “play-side ref was not included in the discussion before the touchdown was denied,” according to Palmer.
“The MHSAA said it was based on a judgment call, and they cannot overturn a judgment call based on whatever evidence presented,” he said.
Palmer presented a DVD of the play as well as pictures. MHSAA Associate Director Rickey Neaves said they reviewed the material and talked to coaches and all officials before making a final decision.
“We looked at pictures and film intently for a day-and-a-half . We talked with people at Ripley, we talked with refs, both line judges and the rest of the crew, “ said Neaves. “We could not determine which call was right, and we couldn’t change the outcome of the game.”
Neaves said the game’s officiating crew – as a whole – would be sanctioned by the MHSAA based on “other situations” not involved with the Ripley-Rosa Fort game. Neaves did not elaborate on what those sanctions would involve.
Ripley’s protest was the second protest heard this week by the MHSAA. The MHSAA denied Madison Central’s appeal of their 45-42 loss at Starkville.
Madison Central wide receiver Keenan Barnes caught a pass and scored, but offensive pass interference was called, ending the game.
Madison Central contended that they should have been given one final untimed down after the 15-yard mark off because MHSAA rules state a high school football game cannot end on a offense or defensive penalty.