ATLANTA - Two former heads of NFL officiating say GHSA officials got it wrong when they ruled an apparent touchdown pass from Peach County's Antonio Gilbert to wide receiver Noah Whittington an incomplete pass.
The play happened with just over 3 minutes remaining in the Class 3-A championship game between the Trojans and the Calhoun Yellow Jackets and would have given Peach County a 12-10 lead (pending the extra point). Instead, the Trojans turned the ball over on downs and Calhoun eventually came out on top 10-6.
Speaking on their webcast "Last Call with Mike Pereira and Dean Blandino", Blandino, who stepped down as the head of NFL officiating in April, spoke for both former NFL officials when he said, "We both looked at it and we both agree it was a catch."
Pereira, who retired as the NFL's Vice President of Officiating in 2009 and now works as an analyst for FOX Sports gave his take on why he thinks the play should have been ruled a catch by the GHSA officials. "...because he is upright and he is a runner. He is not going to the ground initially to complete the catch," Pereira continued, "But it's close."
Peach County High School principal Ken Hartley formally submitted a letter to GHSA Director Robin Hines Monday morning.