Seth Harrison went viral on his 21st birthday.
Eastern Washington’s sophomore kicker wishes he hadn’t, but the situation was out of his control.
Much like the call that appeared to have stolen three points from EWU on Saturday.
Harrison, a Coeur d’Alene High graduate, drilled a 22-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter of the Eagles’ 28-21 loss to Idaho at the Kibbie Dome.
The kick, which would have given the Eagles a 24-21 lead, went through the uprights, but bounced off the bottom of the Vandals’ sizable scoreboard, just a few feet behind the goal posts.
A replay of the kick shows a referee appearing to adjust his mask as the kick sails just between the right upright before ricocheting forward.
“I’m not even sure he looked up,” SWX play-by-play man Dennis Patchin said during the broadcast.
Harrison and the Eagles’ sideline appeared stunned by the upheld call, which blew up on social media.
Clips of the kick on different sites and social media pages had collectively generated nearly a million views by Sunday morning.
“Through and no good? Officials miss made field goal in a FCS game,” a Sports Illustrated headline read.
“This is disgusting,” tweeted Pat McAfee, a former NFL punter and current media personality with more than 2 million Twitter followers.
Harrison, who earned All-Big Sky honors in 2019, was in disbelief.
“I watched the ball go about three yards inside the upright and hit the bottom of the scoreboard,” Harrison told The Spokesman-Review. “I started celebrating with my teammates right after I kicked the ball.
“I wouldn’t be excited after missing a chip shot in crunch time. That kick was good any day of the week.”
Both Idaho and EWU went scoreless on the game’s next four drives, but the Vandals scored the go-ahead touchdown with 53 seconds left when Mike Beaudry connected with Hayden Hatten from 25 yards out.
Harrison took solace in seeing thousands of comments suggesting he was robbed.
“Not what I wanted to go viral for, but I’m glad the sports world agrees that it was one of the worst calls they’ve ever seen,” Harrison said.
The Big Sky Conference released a statement on Sunday acknowledging the error.
“After watching additional video footage, it is evident that official incorrectly ruled it a missed field goal,” Big Sky officials said, while also referencing the scoreboard’s catwalk directly adjacent to the uprights.
“The Big Sky acknowledges and regrets the error in officiating.”
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