CFL admits blown call on Eskimos game-winning touchdown against Redblacks in Week 16

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CFL director of officiating Darren Hackwood stated the officials and command centre erred on what turned out to be Edmonton’s game-winning touchdown against Ottawa in Week 16.

“When that report (from the Eskimos-Redblacks game) went out to the clubs, it shows we graded that call incorrect. We should have ruled it an incomplete pass on the field, but we also should have overturned it from the command centre,” Hackwood told Ottawa Sun reporter Tim Baines.

“(The on-field officials) are supposed to err on the side of a catch. So if they’re in doubt, they’ll rule catch. It is a close play, it’s quick and it’s a tough call. But that ball is not secured on the ground. We use the phrase that the receiver used the ground to gain complete control. So we view it as an incomplete pass.”

Eskimos’ receiver Tevaun Smith hauled in what was ruled a 17-yard touchdown which held as the TD to put Edmonton in the league for keeps.

“Because we tell (the officials) to err on the side of the catch, that’s how it ends up being a catch on the field. The covering official didn’t see it loose on the ground. Then we go to the booth, it’s got to be clear and obvious to overturn. The replay official on that play didn’t think there was enough evidence to say, ‘That’s clearly an incomplete pass,'” Hackwood said.

“After further review in the league office and having the time to go through all the angles, we’ve landed on we should have called it incomplete on the field and we should have overturned it in the booth. At the end of the day, they just made a mistake in judgment on this one.”

The play happened on second and seven just after the three-minute warning. The Eskimos would have had a field goal try or third down decision to make if it was called properly during the game. Either way the outcome was certainly affected by the stripes.