VIDEO: No-whistle call costs Baldwin

The ball is on the ground and still moving — a live ball — when Baldwin punt returner La‘akea Kahoohanohano-Davis picks it up and races to the end zone. However, the official nearby blows his whistle after Davis is 10 yards up the sideline. The officials’ explanation on the sideline was that the official called the play dead because “both teams had stopped trying”.

Waianae led 21-6 with 49 seconds left in the third quarter at the time of the play. The Seariders went on to win the game by that score.
First Hawaiian Bank/HHSAA Football State Championships, opening round. Friday, Nov. 6, 2015. Aloha Stadium. Video: Paul Honda.

Baldwin prepares for its first game of the season at Aloha Stadium. Photo by Jamm Aquino/Star-Advertiser.
Baldwin prepares for its first game of the season at Aloha Stadium. Photo by Jamm Aquino/Star-Advertiser.


  1. EwaEwa November 9, 2015 1:22 pm

    Beavers is a terrible ref and should not be reffing

  2. turfwar November 9, 2015 2:15 pm

    So that official is now making up his own rules? How lazy is that! Wait till the dam ball stops rolling! That play absolutely affected the game. Was sitting where the ball landed and the Waianae guys even started walking away from the ball while it was still rolling. The Baldwin could have very likely taken it in for a score.

  3. 88 November 9, 2015 5:08 pm

    Thank you Paul Honda for posting this video. That was a TERRIBLE CALL!!!! I hope the State officiating crew watches this video and takes notes so this does not happen to any of the remaining teams. These kids work too hard to have their dreams killed by blown calls. I dont know if the call would have affected the outcome but i do know that right now there are kids in Hilo that have to live with “what if” for the rest of their lives. Sad…..

  4. RuleGuy November 10, 2015 7:29 am

    The officials ruled that the returner gave a low level arm crossing (poison) signal at the R27. The action is subtle but visible in the video. By rule this is an invalid signal and as a result the ball is ruled dead if picked up by any member of the receiving team.

    The language of “not trying” is not used in the officiating community but the term, giving up on the play, is and after the poison signal the receiver started a slow walk away from the ball making him a defenseless player not participating in the play and entitled protection from forceful contact even if the contact would otherwise be considered a legal block. This is a player safety point of emphasis every year as directed by the NFHS.

  5. EwaEwa November 10, 2015 1:39 pm

    88 it was baldwin from Maui not Hilo from Kauai, Im glad you not a ref. mioiiiiii!

    Ruleguy pointed it out and looking at the video at the 09 second mark the returner waved the play dead and started to walk away, but does that mean a whistle need to be blown to make it officially dead? The ref should have blown the whistle and he didnt and that is why the player picked the ball up because no one heard the whistle.

    The refs messed up, I hope that group is not calling any more games this year.

  6. 88 November 10, 2015 1:55 pm

    My bad…. Just grind the guy in Maui already…. And his co-host too..

  7. RuleGuy November 10, 2015 10:30 pm

    EwaEwa Question:
    The signal by the receiver does not kill the play it just eliminates the receiving teams ability to advance. Because the ball was still rolling the end of the kick was not yet determined. The play officially ended when the receiver picked up the ball. Had he not picked it up it would have ended when a kicking team player downed the ball or it stopped rolling on its own. The whistle mechanic was correct.

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