Top intra-state game with national attention finishes in tie because of bizarre curfew ruling

Cameron Smith
September 3, 2013

Few prep football games over the extended Labor Day weekend received more pre-game hype than the match up pitting Tampa (Fl.) Plant High and Tyrone (Ga.) Sandy Creek High. Plant, a traditional national power, traveled to Tyrone, Georgia to take part in the Brothers in Arms classic, a two-game slate that also featured Elkton (Md.) Eastern Christian Academy facing off against Banneker (Ga.) High.

The Sandy Creek football team is nationally ranked, but already has one tie — Facebook
The Sandy Creek football team is nationally ranked, but already has one tie — Facebook

While the first game went off without a hitch, the second ended in a tie, for reasons that were both novel and unique.

First, Eastern Christian, led by longtime USC quarterback commitment David Sills, rolled to a 56-13 paying of Banneker. No drama there.

Then Plant and Sandy Creek took the field on time for their scheduled 8:30 kickoff. Exactly three hours later, they walked off the field with 1:50 still remaining in the fourth quarter with the game halted and declared a 27-27 tie.

So what happened?

The answer is a unique twist to Georgia state football bylaws. According to state rules, any games played on school nights must end by 11:30. When the heated game rolled on and reached the 11:30 time on the official clock with 1:50 still showing on the stadium scoreboard, officials had no choice but to declare the game a tie.

As reported by the Tampa Bay Times, Sandy Creek's Brian Miller blocked a 34-yard field goal attempt by Plant that would have won the game for the Panthers with 2:24 remaining in the contest. Sandy Creek got off a couple of snaps before hitting the 11:30 time barrier, but couldn't sustain a drive deep enough to engineer a potential game-winning play.

Regardless of disappointment over a first blot on the season record for both squads, Plant could take some solace in the tie in that it represented a move in the right direction for the Panthers' out-of-state trips. As noted by the Times, the team has played outside of Florida three times in the past four years and has yet to register a victory. The other two games were losses.

After all, even if it's like kissing your sister, a tie is better than a loss in the record books.

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