PN-G football forfeits win over Crosby

Published 12:29 pm Monday, October 29, 2018

Port Neches-Groves’ last-second comeback football win at Crosby will now go down as a loss.

Head coach and athletic director Brandon Faircloth said Monday morning the District 12-5A Division II executive committee, or DEC, voted by a 3-2 count for PNG to forfeit a 48-45 victory that was decided on a touchdown catch with 3 seconds remaining.

Faircloth said PNG had a video recording device in its coaches’ box during the game, which violates University Interscholastic League policy, but he added the device, which he identified as an iPad, was inadvertently placed there and not intended for any video recording.

“Honestly, I don’t know how they could prove any intent of us trying to record from the coaches’ box,” Faircloth said. “That wasn’t our intent. This shouldn’t even be an issue.”

With the forfeit, PNG’s official records are now 5-3 overall and 4-1 in district play. Faircloth said he would address the matter to the players during their athletic period this afternoon.

“It’s a sad day,” Faircloth said. “I’ve been a head coach for 10 years, and I’ve never gone through anything like this.”

In the Crosby game, Roschon Johnson completed a 13-yard pass to Peyton Proenza in the back of the end zone with 3 seconds left, giving the Indians the winning touchdown in what was mostly a back-and-forth affair. Johnson ran for the extra two points to shape the final score.

That now-forfeited victory gives Nederland (8-0, 5-0) an opportunity to win the district championship outright by defeating Crosby at home on Friday and beating PNG in the Nov. 9 Bum Phillips Bowl game in Port Neches. Should Nederland beat Crosby, PNG can still win a share of the district crown by beating Barbers Hill on the road Friday and Nederland.

“We’ve still got to prove it on the field,” Faircloth said. “We still have a chance.”

Port Neches-Groves ISD Superintendent Mike Gonzales said school district officials would look into any recourse they might take to possibly overturn the DEC’s decision. Faircloth said any plan of action would be determined within the next few days.

“We didn’t expect it to get to this point, so now we need to see if we do have some recourse to this action,” Gonzales said.

The DEC’s decision comes two years after Nederland was forced to forfeit a 51-9 win over Livingston as the result of using an ineligible player. The University Interscholastic League denied Nederland a parent residence waiver request for the quarterback who played in that game.