Hard Fought Game Forced to End in Tie as Officials Refuse Overtime
By John Stephens
The officiating crew at last Friday night’s football match-up between the Temple City Rams and Arcadia Apaches told coaches for both teams that there would be no overtime, citing the fact that they would not be paid overtime for the extra work involved in settling the 28-28 tie.
Things looked good for the for the Rams as Apache quarterback Justin Smith connected with Andrew Torres for a 15-yard touchdown play that put Temple City up 7-0 early in the game. Then the TC offense continued to look strong, driving 50 yards in 9 plays to take a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter.
But the Apaches were not about to give up the contest this early. Following an 87 yard kickoff return by sophomore Taylor Legace and a 45 yard fumble recovery and return for touchdown by David Schuil Arcadia scored twice in the second quarter, pulling the team up from a 14-0 deficit before the halftime break. It was not to be the last time the score would be tied on Friday night.
After halftime, it looked as though the Apaches may pull away when, with just over 3 minutes left in the 3rd quarter Taylor Legace scored on a 25-yard pass from Tuck, giving the team their first lead of the night. Tuck had 11 completions on 23 attempts Friday, passing for a total of over 150 yards before being forced onto the bench with a knee injury in the fourth quarter.
But the Rams were not without their fair share of stars to help them fight back from the turnover and special teams-incurred deficit. Quarterback Justin Smith took the ball into the end zone himself from 35 yards out to tie the game late in the third quarter to bring the game to a 21-21 tie.
Temple City then retook the lead in the game when the always strong Ram running back Max Ruckle – who raced for 158 yards on 25 carries, averaging just over 6 yards per carry – reached the end zone on 57-yard breakaway dash just before the whistle blew on the end of the third quarter.
But as both coaches no doubt reminded their respective teams, there are (at least) four quarters in a football game, and when backup Arcadia quarterback Myles Carr came off the bench to connect with Lagace from 21 yards, the game was once again tied, now 28-28.
The Rams, now trying to mount the late-game winning drive, found themselves stranded on the Arcadia 49 yard line with only 48 seconds remaining on the game clock. Urged by an excited, boisterous crowd, Temple City Head Coach Randy White called a last second timeout before punting, deciding instead to tap the energy of the crowd and star running back Max Ruckle to go for the first down and potential win.
But it was not meant to be, and roles quickly reversed for the teams when senior Apache defensive lineman Kyle Schnieder muscled his six feet, one inch and 240 pounds through the Ram offensive line to pull down Ruckle in the backfield for a 2-yard loss.
Arcadia dashed off three plays but was unable to gain against the Ram defense, and punted on 4th and 9 with less than 30 seconds left in the game.
Temple City’s offense, given one last chance from within their own territory, was only able to mount two unsuccessful plays before the game clock ran out.
It was then that cheers and shouts filled the Arcadia High School stadium, with fans from both sides of the tight matchup chanted “We want overtime!” But the officiating crew met with head coaches Anthony White and Jon Dimalante briefly to assure them there would be no overtime, citing lack of additional pay for the extra time it would take to settle the match. Coach White, along with a raucus crowd whose cheers had turned to boos on news of the impending anti-climax, stood in near disbelief as the officials had the coaches shake hands, ending the game in a tie before trotting off to the locker room.
The tie leaves both the Rams and the Apaches still looking for the season’s elusive first win, with both teams now having a record of 0-2-1.
They will have to wait until next week though, when Temple City faces a 1-2 Rosemead team on the road and Arcadia travels to Glendale to take on their 1-1 team.
Editor’s Note: The editorial staff of the Temple City Tribune would like to propose that a special fund be set up to accommodate the revenue needs of future officiating crews in instances requiring overtime play. Donations of cash, cookies and/or orange slices may be sent to Beacon Media headquarters (125 E. Chestnut Ave., Monrovia), care of the “Let them Play” program.