A strange scene unfolded in Nashville, Tenn., Friday night. Ensworth School was leading Brentwood Academy (Tenn.) 21-12 with two seconds remaining in the state semifinal playoff game.
As the final seconds wound down, Brentwood's Derek Barnett, a defensive end committed to the University of Tennessee, chased an Ensworth player and hit him late and out of bounds.
Naturally, tempers flared, and after the chaos was reined in, the referees called the game and ejected Ensworth head coach Ricky Bowers. Bowers was then informed he would be suspended for next week's state title game as well.
According to WZTV-17 (h/t The Tennessean), the head coach had no idea why he was ejected:
"All I know is No. 9 (Brentwood Academy’s Derek Barnett, a Tennessee commitment) … ran our guy into the concrete wall. The referee came running over and I don’t know, it’s pandemonium and he was saying, ‘We’re throwing this guy out of the game and you out of the game,’ and everything. I have no idea. It was the most out-of-control officiating situation I’ve ever seen."
The official's report will be filed on Monday, but according to the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association rule, Bowers will not be able to coach in the next game, the fourth straight title game in which Ensworth will appear.
This is a very confusing and unfortunate situation that could have a profound impact on the outcome of the state title game.
Thanks to Sean Newell of Deadspin for the find and The Tennessean's Maurice Patton for the initial story.