WATCH: Referee Appears To Openly Move Ball Forward Toward First Down Marker

by Max Long
Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

A referee in a New Jersey high school football playoff game was caught on camera seemingly moving the football forward. The adjusted spot was a first down, and the announcers were heated.

The game between the Vineland High School Fighting Clan and the Eastern High School Vikings was coming down to the wire in the 4th quarter. Eastern, trailing by a point, seemed to be short of the marker on a 4th down conversion. That is, before the referee appeared to both move the chain back and move the ball forward a bit.

Take a look at the clip below and see for yourself.

“What? That was a little suspect,” the color commentator remarked about the referee’s move.

“It looked like it was a half a yard short,” said the play-by-play announcer. “It looked like our official pushed the ball a little bit forward and signaled it a first down,” replied his partner.

The ball looked like it could have been beyond the line to gain before the chain gang brought the markers onto the field. One Twitter user noted as much, saying “Chains weren’t that far up before the play started. Chain crew screwed up and cheated, then head official cheated it back. Poorly done by all parties in this situation, not just head official.”

Twitter users could not agree on what happened, though the overwhelming majority seemed to think the referee was in the wrong.

Elsewhere in strange referee antics…

During the October 15 UNLV-Air Force college football game, the referee went fully into the stands to confront the UNLV band. They had been playing music while Air Force snapped the ball, which is against NCAA rules.

Check out the video of the bizarre incident here. The band interference didn’t seem to slow Air Force’s offense much. The Falcons cruised to a 42-7 win in Las Vegas. Seeing an incident such as this was definitely a first for us, especially in a college football game. High school football referees certainly are granted a little more leeway, and mistakes happen. Couldn’t this referee just have turned on his stadium microphone to address the band from the field?