Football forfeits to Wootton on homecoming night after fourth quarter controversy

By Will Gunster

The football team (0–7) lost to the Wootton Patriots (2–5) 21–6 in a close battle that slipped away in the final minutes of the game.

With the stands packed to the brim for homecoming and senior night, the Vikes were looking to pick up their first win in nearly three years. Unfortunately, some late game drama and controversy saw the Vikes fall just short. 

The Patriots received the opening kickoff but were quickly run off the field by the amped-up Vikes defense. The Whitman offense took the field for the first time, looking to take an early lead. Led by sophomore starting quarterback Carter Maury, the Vikes marched down into Patriots territory. Wootton’s defense stayed forcing the Vikes to a fourth down that unfortunately resulted in a missed field goal. 

The Patriots offense got the ball back and this is where the controversy began. Wootton’s quarterback escaped the pocket and ran for a 60-yard touchdown. However, a Patriot was seemingly flagged for taunting during the play which should have nullified the touchdown. After a long discussion, the officials determined that the touchdown still stood. The Vikes didn’t let this deter them, as the offense bounced right back and drove down the field. Maury finished off the impressive drive with a one-yard rushing touchdown on fourth and goal. Unfortunately, the kicking woes continued for the Vikes as they missed the extra point, allowing the Patriots to take a 7–6 lead into halftime.

Wootton carried their one-point lead all the way in the fourth quarter. With just a few minutes left in the quarter, the Patriots picked apart the Vikes defense all the way downfield, eventually taking a 14–6 lead. The Vikes got the ball back, needing to drive the length of the field and convert the two-point conversion in order to send the game to overtime. On first down, the Vikes messed up the snap count, causing the offensive line to jump before the ball was snapped. For some reason, the play wasn’t whistled dead for the obvious false start. Instead, the Patriots picked up the ball that was just sitting on the ground, running it all the way back for another touchdown. The Vikes coaching staff was obviously extremely upset about the blatant missed call from the officials and didn’t have the team retake the field. This resulted in the Vikes technically forfeiting the final minutes of the game, finalizing the 21–6 loss.

The Vikes will look to pick up their first win of the season next Friday night when they visit the B-CC Barons (3–4) in a big-time rivalry matchup.