You can count Dallas City Council member Dwaine Caraway among those who believe Dallas Skyline got a raw deal from the referees during Saturday's Class 5A Division I state semifinal loss to Southlake Carroll.
Caraway issued a statement Tuesday calling on the UIL to investigate calls that went against Skyline, notably the onside kick recovered by Carroll that led to the winning touchdown in the Dragons' 28-24 come-from-behind victory. Skyline supporters have argued that the kick did not travel the required 10 yards before Carroll's Ray Crockett recovered. (Click here for video of the disputed play.)
Here is the full text of Caraway's statement:
I, Dwaine R. Caraway am calling upon the University Interscholastic League (UIL) to investigate referee’s calls that cost the Skyline High School football team an opportunity to compete in the state championship game.
Having been present at the game and after carefully reviewing the film of the matchup between Skyline and Southlake Carroll, I can confidently say that the level of officiating was absolutely below the standards of what is required for such an important game. In the final minutes, there were several blatantly blown calls, which completely changed the outcome of the game.
One of those calls occurred with just a few minutes left in the game when Skyline was ahead. Southlake Carroll made an onside kick to try to take the lead kicking the ball from the 40 yard line. The rules say the ball must travel 10 yards. The referee said the ball crossed the plane of the 48 yard line. In this case, I believe, the referee made the wrong call by ruling that Southlake Carroll’s player fell on the 49 yard line. In another case, the flag thrown for pass interference was not even close. These bad calls make me question the motives of the officiating crew.
I understand that mistakes happen, but for a group of officials to decide the outcome of that game, rather than allowing the players to do so is completely unacceptable. High School athletics are part of our childrens curriculum and the lesson that Skyline learned on Friday was that no matter how hard you work and how well you perform, someone can break the rules and take it all away from you.
I am asking the public to encourage the Director of the UIL to investigate this matter so that a future group of students aren't subjected to what our Skyline students were on Friday. In my opinion, Skyline won that game and all of the players are champions. It is unfortunate that a few bad calls took away their dream. The UIL can restore faith in these young people by doing the right thing which is to review the film of the game and publicly report and explain their findings.
On Monday, Skyline principal Harold Wright said the school would file a complaint with the Austin Football Officials Association, whose referees worked the game.