Houston & Peach

Peach County expected to appeal call in championship game; online petition takes off

An online petition is rapidly gaining signatures for game officials to use instant replay like the NFL and college after a controversial call against Peach County in the Class AAA championship football game.

The No. 4-ranked Calhoun Yellow Jackets took the title 10-6 over the No. 2-ranked Trojans. The call came with 3:40 remaining in the game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

“We are asking that the Executive Committee of the Georgia High School Association overturn the officiants ruling on the play and allow that instant replay be admissible in High school championship games,” the petition states. “We are not asking for an apology but a change in policy.”

Peach County High Principal Ken Hartley said he sent a letter Saturday to GHSA president Robin Hines and its board of trustees asking for a meeting.

“We’re going to plead our case,” Hartley said. “I think we owe it to our kids. I think we owe it to our community. We owe it to our school. I mean I just think we need to fight til we can’t fight no more.”

He declined to elaborate on what he, Coach Chad Campbell and School Superintendent Daryl Fineran plan to say to GHSA. Hartley said the three were on the phone most of the morning.

“One positive that’s helping us, too, with our case is that it’s blowing up on social media,” Hartley said. “I’ve had people calling me from California. It’s gone nationwide now ... Maybe we’ll get somebody to listen to us.”

Meanwhile, as of 2:45 p.m. Saturday, more than 4,600 people had signed the petition — including Torya Harris of Byron.

“I’m signing because there was a terrible call made against Peach County High School on Friday during the Class 3A State Championship,” Harris wrote. “The call probably cost PCHS the Championship.”

Harris called for the implementation of instant replay at minimum for the state championship games.