Through and No Good? Officials Miss Made Field Goal in FCS Game


The fifth down. Maradona's Hand of God goal. And now, Eastern Washington's made field goal that wasn't entered into the lore of worst officiating mistakes of all time.

That's the level of referee malpractice that occurred in Saturday night's FCS matchup between the Eagles and Idaho. Take a look and try to figure out how the officials deemed this chip-shot field goal attempt from Eastern Washington's Seth Harrison no good.

The footage isn't IMAX quality, but the ball can clearly be seen going through the uprights. The official underneath the right goal post isn't quite in position as the ball is kicked, and is clearly confused after the ball ricochets off the scoreboard. After a moment of what I can only assume was deep contemplation, he waves his arms to signal no good.

The play happened with just over 11 minutes left in the fourth quarter and the score tied at 21. The two teams each went scoreless over the next four combined possessions before Idaho scored what would end up being the game-winning touchdown with under a minute to play, making the final score 28-21.

The Big Sky issued a statement on Sunday evening acknowledging the official's error and explained why the play was not reviewable.

"The physical setup of the scoreboard and catwalk directly adjacent to the uprights in this endzone of the Kibbie Dome create unique conditions when determining whether a kick is good. In light of these circumstances, the Big Sky is evaluating the mechanics of where officials are located during a field goal or extra point attempt to be positioned better to evaluate these types of plays," the statement said. "The Big Sky acknowledges and regrets this error in officiating."

It's a bitter pill to swallow for the Eagles. The three points would not have made up the difference of the final score, but there's no telling how differently the game would have played out if Eastern Washington had taken a three-point lead at that stage of the game.

Instead, it's an 0-1 start to the year, while the Vandals squeak out a victory under the most unpredictable circumstances. For a football season unlike any that have come before it, it's a fitting result.