Controversial call on timing error snatches Homecoming win from Falcons

September 29, 2022 — by Parav Manney and Aiden Ye
Photo by Kai Otsuka
The moment the Vikings  scored the winning touch down against the Falcons during the Homecoming game.
Four seconds were added at the end due to a timing error — but that was all that was needed for Mills to win 30-28.  

As the fourth quarter of the Homecoming football game on Sept. 23 drew to an end, the Falcons put up a staunch defense against repeated charges by the Mills Vikings, who were driving on the Falcons’ 5-yard line. As the clock ran down to zero, it seemed the Falcons had won. 

Fans roared as they looked at the scoreboard to witness what they thought was the final score: 28-22. That brief moment of glory soon ended. Officials reset the clock to 4 seconds: They said the timekeeper had made a mistake. 

Fans booed and shouted words of abuse. In the extended time, Mills ran a quarterback sneak into the endzone tying the score 28-28. The Vikings then cemented a 30-28 win after converting 2-point conversion.

Like fans in the stands, Falcons head coach Stephen Matos didn’t like how the officials did their job. 

The ending was wrong and to rob us of that is upsetting,” Matos told The Falcon. “But when you leave it in the hands of the refs, anything can happen and we were on the short end of that this time.” 

The Falcons started the game strong, with junior quarterback Shane Timmons scoring the first touchdown on a 16-yard run. Later, however, the team formed a coverage in which the defenders miscommunicated, giving the Vikings open receiver a path down the field, giving them their first touchdown. At the end of the first quarter, the score was tied 6-6.

The back-and-forth between the two teams continued as they traded touchdowns in the second quarter, with Timmons also scoring the Falcons’ second touchdown on a run. In the third quarter, the Falcons’ defense didn’t tackle well. The result was a running touchdown followed by a 2-point conversion; Mills was ahead 22-20 in. 

But the Falcons bounced back. Senior running back Paolo Navarro broke into the endzone after a long run of more than 20 yards.

After their own 2-point conversion, the Falcons  entered the fourth quarter up 28-22.

The Falcon reached out to a number of players on the football team; all declined to comment about the crushing loss.

Despite the difficult loss, the Falcons have already exceeded their one win from last year. They stand 2-2 and are in 6th place in the Peninsula Lake Division. Their next games are against the Monta Vista Matadors on Sept. 30, South San Francisco on Oct. 6 and El Camino Oct. 14.

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