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GHSA Says Instant Replay For State Championship Not Ruled Out

Following a controversial call in the final minutes of the Georgia High School Association 3A state championship in which game officials ruled a potential game winning touchdown catch by Peach County wide receiver, Noah Whittington, an incomplete pass. With 3:33 remaining in the fourth quarter, Peach County trailed Calhoun 10-6 and decided to go for it on fourth and eight from the Calhoun 22 yard line. Whittington caught 17 yard pass from Antonio Gilbert at the five yard line and after a few steps dove towards the endzone, with the ball popping out after Whittington stretched across the goal line and hit the ground. The incomplete pass call lead to a turnover on downs and Peach County losing 10-6 and their fans and many others in an uproar as various replays on the Mercedes Benz jumbo screens as well as televised replays show what looks to be Whittington making the catch and taking two complete steps with control of the ball, crossing the plain and then the ball popping loose afterwards.

Peach County's Noah Whittington after catch in GHSA 3A title game - Photo Credit: Jason Getz/AJC

The call has led to many saying that GHSA should add the use of instant replay for State Championship games. GHSA executive director, Dr. James R. Hines hinted that the board could very well consider such an addition, "you never want to rule anything out, the technology exist and it would be shortsighted not to consider", said Hines. Details such as plays that can be reviewed, the training of game officials on the use of instant replay, and most importantly, who will cover the cost of adding the replay system, would all need to be worked out but should the GHSA committee be able to work out details and submit a proposal to the National Federation of High Schools, instant replay for state title games could become a reality. As for the final results of the GHSA 3A title game, despite Peach County head coach Chad Campbell's appeal of "misapplication of rules" by game officials and the Peach County community's call on GHSA to order the final three minutes to be replayed, Hines says that the 3A championship is "over". This came after an intense meeting between GHSA Board of Trustees and Peach County representatives on Tuesday.

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