CHSAA office affirms call made in Valor Christian/Grandview 5A football semifinal

There was some confusion regarding a call made during the Valor Christian/Grandview semifinal football game in Class 5A on Saturday.

During the game, Grandview punted the ball to Valor Christian in the second quarter. A Valor Christian player attempted pick up a scrimmage kick at the 2-yard-line and, never gaining possession, muffed it into the end zone. The ball crossed the plane of the end zone, and was recovered by the kicking team (Grandview). However, the officials correctly ruled on the field that once the ball crossed the plane, it was a dead ball, and therefore a touchback.

This is the correct call.

On page 47 of the NFHS' 2014 Football Case Book, Rule 6.3.1, Situation A states:

A scrimmage kick by (the kicking team) comes to rest on (the receiving team's) 6-yard-line. (The receiving team) attempts to recover and advance, but muffs the ball so that it rolls into the end zone where: (a) (The receiving team) downs the ball; or (b) (The receiving team) recovers and advances out of the end zone; or (c) (The kicking team) recovers and downs the ball in the end zone.

RULING: The ball became dead as soon as it broke the plane of (the receiving team's) goal line. It is a touchback in (a), (b) and (c). The kick had not ended because muffing does not constitute possession, therefore, it is a kick into (the receiving team's) end zone which is an automatic touchback.

Additionally, the Referee on this game is in the NFHS officiating Hall of Fame and is currently the Colorado football rules interpreter.