Editor’s note: The Abbotsford News is launching a new blog, Students of the Game, which features local high school athletes sharing their experiences and unique perspectives. Today, Robert Bateman Secondary quarterback Tanner Friesen reflects on a controversial call from his team’s playoff loss to Carson Graham.
To win a football game, not only do you have to beat the team you’re lining up against, but sometimes you have to beat the referees and the weather. This was the case in my last high school football game ever.
We were playing the Carson Graham Eagles from North Vancouver in the first round of the playoffs. Coming into the game we knew that they were a talented team and we’d have to be perfect in all aspects of the game: offence, defence, and special teams.
At the end of the first half, we were leading 6-0. Our defence was defending the run well and hadn’t given up a first down. In the third quarter, the Eagles scored twice from long passes through the air. Going into the fourth quarter, we were trailing 14-6.
Our first drive of the fourth quarter, we pounded the ball up the middle. Our running back, Ben Cummings, had a few big runs which kept the ball moving. We managed to get the ball all the way down to the half yard line, with the nose of the ball just inches away from the goal line. It was first and goal and we called a quarterback sneak.
On the snap of the ball, our offensive line plunged forward into the end zone and I ran across the goal line. A moment later I got pushed back but managed to fight my way forward and hold the ball out across the goal line. The ball then got swatted out of my hands and the other team picked it up and took it back for a touchdown.
I looked at the referee in disbelief. I had crossed the goal line twice and none of the five refs called it a touchdown. This questionable non-call managed to change the momentum of the game, and in my opinion, lost it for us. We ended up losing the game 35-18.
That call made me wish that high school football had video replay. It’s tough knowing that your four years of high school football ended due to a terrible call.
With football now over, basketball is starting up. I’m looking forward to the season. I think we have a good-looking team. With the new triple and quad A leagues, I think our team has a good chance of going far. Our team has set a goal to make it to provincials this year. We won’t have to play the usual powerhouse teams like Mouat, Yale and MEI, but we will still have tough games against Abby Senior and Hansen.
Our season kicks off in two weeks when we travel down to Las Vegas for a tournament. I’m looking forward to the season as it should be an exciting one.
Previous Students of the Game blog posts:
Tessa Ratzlaff: Eagles volleyballers starting to find an identity
Tanner Friesen: T-Wolves look ahead to big match-up with Mission