Miracle pass caps off controversial comeback win one play after fumble appeared to end game

Cameron Smith
September 24, 2013

Remember the Tuck Rule game of 2002? Of course you do. Without it, we might never have been delivered the gift that is Tom Brady's NFL rise. Well, now the tuck rule game has company in the form of a heated Michigan face off that was host to a miraculous and controversial finish.

As reported by the Detroit News, Brother Rice High (Bloomfield Hills, Mi.), among the nation's top-50 teams, edged past DeLaSalle High (Warren, Mi.) on the game's final play when a 34-yard touchdown heave that traveled farther in the air landed in the hands of wide receiver Jason Alessi, who just barely got his feet in bounds for a victorious grab, as you can see in the video above. The final second touchdown gave Brother Rice a 26-24 come-from-behind win, though that was only half the story.

The other half has made the game's final moments as controversial as they were remarkable. Just seconds before Brother Rice quarterback Alex Malzone emerged as a hero, it appeared he would be his team's goat, seeming to fumble as he was sacked in the backfield on a play that would have ended the game.

The DeLaSalle players were so confident that they had pulled off the memorable upset that they rushed onto the field to celebrate. As they mobbed together, the game officials came on to signal incomplete pass, a ruling that seemed incredibly charitable to Brother Rice. Even Alessi seemed to admit that the botched call resulted in a fumble, later telling the News that Brother Rice had "caught a break," on the game's penultimate play.

Yet, an incomplete pass it was ruled, giving Brother Rice one last shot down field, one that DeLaSalle coach Paul Verska vociferously argued never should have been allowed.

"That was terrible," DeLaSalle coach Paul Verska shouted after the game. "My kids got [cheated]. You print that."

You can see the disputed incompletion/fumble play at the start of the video below. Judge for yourself. Either way, the final stages made the game one that neither Brother Rice nor DeLaSalle will forget anytime soon.

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