The controversial finish from last Saturday's Class 7A semifinal game between Plainfield North and Fenwick will be decided in court.
On Monday, Fenwick officials released the following statement:
‘‘Pursuant to the outcome of the game, IHSA invited Fenwick to submit an appeal to the IHSA Board. Early Monday morning, the IHSA Board determined that it would not hear the appeal. As a result, in an effort to protect the rights and rightfully earned opportunities of its students, Fenwick High School has filed a lawsuit in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois seeking declaratory, injunctive and other relief against IHSA.’’
Fenwick is seeking a reversal of its 18-17 Class 7A semifinal overtime loss to Plainfield North after a referee made a mistake and allowed an untimed down, which eventually led to the 18-17 Fenwick overtime loss to Plainfield North.
The Friars were leading 10-7 with four seconds left in the fourth quarter. Fenwick quarterback Jacob Keller heaved a ball downfield to run out the clock. After the referee’s intentional grounding call and subsequent untimed down, Plainfield North kicked a 22-yard field goal to tie the game at 10, sending the game into the extra session. After Fenwick took a 17-10 lead in overtime, Plainfield North’s Dillon McCarthy answered with a rushing touchdown. His two point conversion was the difference in the game moments later.
The Illinois High School Association on Saturday night admitted that the referee's call was incorrect, however, “IHSA by-law 6.033 clearly states that, ‘the decisions of game officials shall be final; protests against the decision of a game official shall not be reviewed by the Board of Directors.’ Given that rule, the contest result shall remain final with Plainfield North advancing to the Class 7A State Championship.”
In the statement, IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson expressed “sincerest apologies” to the Fenwick Friars football program, administration and community.
Plainfield North head coach Tim Kaine declined comment in a conference call Monday morning.
The case will be heard on Wednesday at 9 a.m. in Cook County Chancery Court.
The 7A championship will be Saturday at 4 p.m. on CSN Chicago. East St. Louis advanced to the game by defeating Benet.