"On the final play of the fourth quarter in today's IHSA Class 7A Semifinal Football game between Fenwick High School and Plainfield North High School, an error was made by the officiating crew, which resulted in an untimed down being awarded to Plainfield North".
On Monday night, Fenwick school officials filed a motion in Cook County court asking for an emergency order to overturn the results of the semi-finals game.
District 202 spokesperson Tom Hernandez said the district empathizes with Fenwick High School, but appreciates the court's decision.
The officials made a mistake in that game and gave Central Michigan an untimed down after a intentional grounding call on the last play of the game. Plainfield North then went on to win 18-17 in overtime. Fenwick (11-2) appealed to have the result overturned, eventually putting the matter in the hands of Judge Kathleen Kennedy.
IHSA attorney David Bressler said that "officials make hundreds of bad calls every week and that courts would be flooded with lawsuits if Fenwick won the legal fight", according to the Tribune.
That sends Plainfield North High School to Saturday's Class A state title game against East St. Louis.
The courtroom was packed for Kennedy's ruling; the crowd included about a dozen Fenwick students. The National Federation of High School rules state that a loss-of-down penalty, such as intentional grounding, that occurs while time expires shall not lead to an untimed down. She cited a bylaw that noted decisions by officials on the field are final as part of her decision.
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Few people knew he had even travelled to Selhurst Park , so seeing his name on the team sheet at all was a huge surprise. The Eagles caused City plenty of problems, notably with their pressing game and lightning-fast breaks down the wings.
"(We) will continue to prepare to play in the state championship Saturday afternoon", Hernandez said.
"We owed our students a fair hearing of their grievance, we received a fair hearing and now it is finished", Groom said.
"I wish there was a way Fenwick could play but there isn't", Bressler told Kennedy. Plainfield North then won in overtime. That wasn't good enough for Fenwick, as they chose to take the decision to a higher level...by starting a lawsuit.
Todd Faulkner, a lawyer for Plainfield North, said the school "respects the passion" of Fenwick fans but that Plainfield feels the same about playing in the championship game. There is no celebration and there are no winners in this circumstance.
The association said Wednesday that it will look for ways to try to prevent such problems in future, but it isn't yet clear what that will involve.
Although the judge ruled in the IHSA's favor, the association said the decision "is not a victory". It featured two first-team all-state players in senior quarterback Jacob Keller and junior wide receiver Mike O'Laughlin. "The outcome of the conference call by the board of directors was that the by-laws did not allow the board to review the appeal".