What's the Call?

A recent post was an excerpt from my book. It featured the section describing the 1966 Elmwood vs. St. Croix Central game. The strangeness of that game reminded me of something I saw in high school…yes, 50+ years ago. I have seen some very strange plays and official calls over the years but if someone were to ask me what the craziest thing I ever saw was, it would have to be this. And I don't even know how it ended.


As a sophomore in 1967 I was on the Delafield St. John’s Military Academy JV team. The JV had played on Thursday and I was free to watch the varsity play on Saturday afternoon. It was very late October or very early November. You know how the weather can change around here. The game started off cloudy and about 45 degrees. Most of the cadets were dressed like myself with our uniform jacket. Not a heavy winter coat. As the game progressed so did the weather and not in a nice way. The wind picked up, gusting in the range of 30 miles per hour and it got colder. The field ran along atop a hill from east to west. By halftime the temperature had dropped considerably and the wind was even stronger as the gusts must have been in the low 50s. Then it started to snow. I remember telling a couple of the guys around me that I was going back to the barracks. It was just too cold to stay. As I walked along the sideline to leave our opponent punted and the ball really flew and was downed on our two-yard line. We were facing the wind. I paused to watch the game and we ran three rushing plays but only got to the 11-yard line. I walked a few more steps when our punter came onto the field. I stopped to watch some more. The snow was now flying sideways as the wind was really blowing hard. From the sidelines it was hard to watch but I did. The ball was snapped and the punter, standing just inside the goal line, took the ball and really put his foot into it. Just then, the wind came crashing in from the west and the ball was lifted high into the air and went no further than the five- or six-yard line then blew back, over the punter and through the goal post. It was like a reverse field goal. I was pelted with heavy snow and I turned and left the field BUT I never learned how the officials ruled the play.


How would you have ruled it? Down the ball on the 11-yard line and turn it over to our opponent? Was it a safety as the ball went through the back of the endzone? Help me out, please. Let me know by e-mail or the Contact section of the blog.