‘No, there will be no rematch’ says GHSA after controversial championship call

Petition calling for rematch garners nearly 750 signatures
Sandy Creek vs Cedar Grove
Sandy Creek vs Cedar Grove(Atlanta News First)
Published: Dec. 15, 2022 at 5:10 PM EST
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - State championship high school football is returning to the big stage. Officials say championship games will be played at Mercedes-Benz Stadium next year.

One of the changes many players, coaches, fans, and spectators hope will come with the move is adding instant replay during those games.

The request comes after a referee signaled a touchdown in the Cedar Grove and Sandy Creek game on Saturday. A closer look revealed the ball carrier was at least two yards short of the goal line.

“The more you review the call, the more you can tell that it’s just blatantly obvious that it was like just a very bad call,” said Jamel Kerns, who watched the game in person at Park Stadium.

Kerns, brother of Cedar Grove’s No. 51 Chase Kerns, started a petition calling for a rematch. It’s already garnered nearly 750 signatures.

Georgia High School Association Executive Director Dr. Robin Hines says a redo isn’t on the table.

“We want all calls to be right. The current rules of the Georgia High School Association do not allow for judgment calls by contest officials. They’re all not reversible,” said Hines.

Despite GHSA nixing the petition for a rematch, Kerns feels there is still hope for positive change in the form of giving instant replay a fair shot.

“We have so much technology. There’s no reason why we shouldn’t have instant replay just because it’s high school level,” said Kerns.

Hines confirmed the GHSA board of trustees is already discussing adding instant replay and the topic will be debated more in-depth during their January meeting.

“Yes, we are going to take a look, we feel like we have to. To look at instant replay when it’s feasible when the technology exists,” said Hines.

If passed, a pilot program for an instant replay would be instituted and likely tested during the Corky Kell Championship at Mercedes Benz Stadium.