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N.M. calling for change after stunning end to prep football game

November 10, 2016 / Athletic AdministrationFootball
A wild finish to a New Mexico high school football game has the state’s athletic association calling for a nationwide change to the game’s rules.

FootballHand-300x200In late October, Goddard and Artesia high schools faced off with Artesia holding a slim 35-34 lead in the game’s final minute. All Artesia needed to do was run out the clock, but Goddard wouldn’t let it happen.

Goddard players lined up over the ball, swiping at it in the center’s hand in an attempt to knock it free before it reached the quarterback. Goddard was unsuccessful the first four times, earning offsides penalties, but on the fifth time a player timed it just right, causing a fumble that was recovered by Goddard (video below).

Goddard would go on to kick a field goal and win the game, 37-35.

The strategy is legal but considered unsportsmanlike by coaches and state officials, and the New Mexico Activities Association (NMAA) wants the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) to address it.

As reported by KRQE, the NMAA wants to strategy banned within the rules. The final 32 seconds of the Goddard/Artesia game took 17 minutes to play, and without changes to the rules, the strategy can essentially be tried over and over again until the defense gets it right.

The NFHS has not yet released a statement or indicated it would address it with the Football Rules Committee.

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