Your coach always told you to play to the whistle. Two inglorious high school teams offer a sobering reminder of why that's good advice.
Even more amazing, those teams blew a sure victory in the exact same way: By celebrating after a blocked field goal while the opposing team won the game.
In both cases, the teams forgot that a ball blocked after a field goal attempt is still live when it's behind the line of scrimmage. Lake Forest High School in Delaware thought it'd lost the game when its opponent, Delmar, blocked a chip shot.
The Delmar squad then sprints down the field, away from a football sitting live and untouched on the ground. The kicker casually picks up the ball and trots completely unnoticed into the end zone.
— Brad Myers (@BradMyersTNJ) October 12, 2015
Meanwhile, in Ohio, the Boardman Spartans attempted a 29-yard chip shot to win the game. Boardman trailed 14-12.
Then the Warren G. Harding Raiders blocked it. The Raiders ran off to celebrate what they thought was a two-point win.
But just like the game in Delaware, the one of the players from the kicking team scoops up the ball and runs for a touchdown. Boardman won 18-14.
The Harding error is more surprising because its players should have reacted to several Spartans scrambling to grab the loose ball.
Let this be a lesson: Play to the whistle. Also, know the rules of the game you're playing.