October 13, 2009

Crazy finish at Michigan high school football game

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Quick lesson in high school football. The game isn't over until the official blows the whistle on the final play.

Canton (Michigan) Plymouth High learned that the hard way earlier this month.

The school thought it had defeated Westland (Michigan) John Glenn when it blocked a last-second field goal attempt. But when its players ran off the field in celebration, none of the players realized that the ball hadn't crossed the line of scrimmage and was still in play.

No official had blown the ball dead.

So while Plymouth celebrated, John Glenn's Tony Wilton alertly picked up the ball and ran 33-yards for the winning score.

It's a play, Wilton will never forget. Here's how it went down.

John Glenn trailed Plymouth, 28-27, with eight seconds left when it lined up for a potential game-winning field goal.

Wilton, a senior, is also the holder for field goals.

As the play unfolded, two onrushing Plymouth defenders dove and blocked the Ryan Lopez kick, which would never cross the line of scrimmage.

The Plymouth team erupted in jubilation of the last-second heroics.

Unfortunately for the Wildcats, the play was not over.

Wilton alertly scooped up the ball and took off running and 33 yards later he had scored his first career touchdown and won the game, 33-28.

"I heard somebody say 'run.'" Wilton told The Observer & Eccentric following the game. "There were (Glenn) guys in front of me and they (Plymouth) all ran off the field. They thought the game was over.''

Plymouth coach Mike Sawchuk was not at all satisfied with how the final play was officiated.

"They (the officials) blew the whistle and the clocked stopped - everybody stopped,'' he told the paper. "They wouldn't give me an explanation."

In addition, some feel the video shows that Wilton's knee was on the ground when he picked up the ball - an act that would end the play if true.

The Plymouth players shouldn't feel too badly about it. After all, in a sense, they were just copying the pros.

Remember Leon Lett's famous Thanksgiving Day gaffe that cost the Cowboys a win over the Dolphins.

Sawchuk wants no part of that - or being an Internet sensation. He just wants what he feels his team earned: A victory.

"It's something that's a protest in my eyes,'' he told the paper. "We won the game. We played our tails off and they (Glenn) should not be happy with the win.''

The "protest" is so strong that the team's official website has yet to record a final score of the game.

Wilton, however, has his moment and his own memory.

"I didn't hear any whistle and I thought nothing of it."

MORE: Talk about the play | The Top 100 high school football teams in the nation


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