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XFL Has First Major Officiating Controversy as Referees Botch Game's Final Play


Saturday's game between the Seattle Dragons and Houston Roughnecks ended in controversy when referees called the game over two seconds early.

On fourth-and-23, Houston quarterback P.J. Walker was told to kill the final four seconds of the game. However, he took a knee with two seconds left on the clock rather than throwing the ball away out of bounds. Seattle, which was down 32–23, should have gotten the ball back from the Roughnecks' 21-yard line. 

Instead, the clock ran out and the referees left the field, which robbed the Dragons of a chance to score. They would've also needed a three-point conversion to tie the game.

ABC announcer Steve Levy immediately called out the referees for the mixup.

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"This is unbelievable. Somebody's gotta go get the officials. Clearly, two seconds are left in this game!"

Officiating supervisor Wes Booker admitted on the broadcast that the referees botched the call but there was nothing to do since the game had ended and the teams had left the field.

"I'll see right here what we can do," he said. "But the game, as we said, is deemed as over."

The league later released a statement to apologize for the error. No plans to replay the end of the game were announced.

Houston improved to 5–0, while Seattle dropped to 1–4.