Errant whistle blows AuGres-Sims comeback
AuGRES-SIMS — AuGres-Sims seemed to have set the stage for a thrilling late fourth-quarter comeback.
Trailing 24-19 with just over three minutes remaining, the Wolverines had just scored their second touchdown of the period and had apparently recovered an onside kick.
It would have given AGS the ball at midfield with all three time-outs remaining -- plenty of time for the Wolverines' pass-oriented offense to get into scoring position.
But that wasn't quite what happened.
The Wolverines' onside kick recovery was negated by a referee's inadvertent whistle, which officially blew the play dead before the ball was recovered.
On the second attempt, Alcona recovered the ball and ran off all but the last 40 seconds of the game. The Tigers' Tiger Cole returned an interception 36 yards to blow up the Wolverines' last desperation attempt to win the game and put the icing on a 32-19 Alcona win.
"It's not that uncommon to have an inadvertent whistle," said AGS coach Dr. Scott McAlindon. "But when it affects the outcome of the game on a change-of-possession play, that's pretty tough.
"I don't know if anyone (of the players) heard the whistle, but no one stopped on the play. We had the ball. But the rule is that the play was dead, so at that point they really didn't have a choice."
It was the second straight year that an official's call in the late-going hurt the Wolverines in their annual non-conference battle with Alcona. Last year, a holding penalty erased a two-point conversion pass late in the game that would have given AGS a one-point victory.
"Last year, I really felt we won that game," McAlindon said. "This year, we still had to prove that we could drive the rest of the way and score, which wouldn't have been easy. And we made enough mistakes during the game to get in that position. Last year was a lot tougher to swallow."
AGS quarterback Lutz was 21-of-40 passing for 296 yards and two touchdowns. He also threw five interceptions.
Chad Taylor caught four passes for 102 yards. Lutz led the team in rushing with 37 yards on nine carries.
Zach Dieleman (15 tackles, 1 interception) and Kyle Shanks (9 tackles) led the defense.
The Wolverines (1-1) open North Star League play on Friday at Hillman (0-2), which opened its season with losses to Rogers City and Rudyard.