When a blocked kick isn’t a blocked kick. Maybe

St. Francis kicker Makana Poole, was down on the ground near the penalty flag that was thrown after his kicked was blocked.

It was the blocked kick that wasn’t a blocked kick.

Damien had a 14-8 lead over St. Francis late in their Interscholastic League of Honolulu Division II matchup on Saturday night. Damien, the regular-season winner, just needed one win to take the second-round title and the league championship. And a state-tournament berth.

Then came a 48-yard bomb from Bubba Akana to Scotty McLeod, who made the catch and scored despite playing with a badly injured thumb. That tied the game at 14 with 1:10 remaining. But a penalty assessed against St. Francis pushed the PAT kick back 15 yards. For a team that has faced point-after kicking issues, this was a not a positive.

The ball was snapped and Damien’s Matthew Faufata-Pedrina was in the backfield almost instantaneously. He blocked the kick and the game remained tied, right? No. In the judgement of head official Cal Evans, Faufata-Pedrina did not block the football, and according to the rule, an attempt can be blocked and roughing the kicker can be called on a defender who didn’t touch the ball.

First, here’s Section 4, Article 5.

Running into or roughing the kicker or holder. A defensive player shall neither run into the kicker nor holder, which is contact that displaces the kicker or holder without roughing; nor block, tackle or charge into the kicker of a scrimmage kick, or the place-kick holder, other than when:

a. Contact is unavoidable because it is not reasonably certain that a kick will be made.
b. The defense touches the kick near the kicker and contact is unavoidable.
c. Contact is slight and is partially caused by the movement of the kicker.
d. Contact is caused by R being blocked into the kicker or holder by K.

Here’s a follow-up to Sect. 4, Art. 5, something called NF:9.4.5. I found it online, can’t claim it is law, but it makes some sense.

(a) Contact is unavoidable because it is not reasonably certain that a kick will be made.  For better, or worse, this involves a judgment call that is unique to each and every incident. 

Evans described what he observed.

“I didn’t see the tip (block), but two of my officials did. He came in full head-and-shoulders into the kicker’s legs. Normally, it’s arms extended. That’s a danger to the kicker, and the kicker was down,” Evans said.

Slow motion reveals that Faufata-Pedrina was fully extended almost parallel to the ground, when he deflected the kick. The ball caromed to the left guard’s area at roughly chest level. There were no other deflectors. But again, this is only obvious at slow motion, and officials do not have the benefit of replay. The kicker, Makana Poole, appears injured, but the penalty is assessed. Backup Lachmann Atoa came in and drilled the go-ahead PAT.

Neither coach, Eddie Klaneski of Damien and Kip Akana of St. Francis, were willing to be quoted for the play. Akana did mention that his team received some questionable flags earlier in the game, including one that cost the Saints a touchdown.

There will be no appeal, and no appeal process. Judgement calls in most any sport are standing rather than technical. All of this left St. Francis with a 15-14 victory. And now the teams will meet again on Friday for the ILH D-II title.

For what it’s worth, the penalized blocked PAT kick was similar to a blocked punt in the Saint Louis-Kamehameha game that followed. The blocked punt was not penalized.


  1. phILHarmonic October 23, 2017 1:12 pm

    Terrible call.

    Why did he stay with the call even though he mentioned that two of his officials saw the block?
    And, his arms were extended.

    Not much to do about it now but to focus on the next game.

    I guess thats the answer to the question “When a blocked kick isn’t a blocked kick”? when you have Cal Evans as your Head Official.

  2. Cal Evens should retire October 23, 2017 2:33 pm

    ART 4 b. is even clearer. He obviously blocked the kick, you didn’t need to see it to know that and the fact that the other officials did is ridiculous. The ref should not be able to do a championship game if he doesn’t know the rules. You could even say ART 4 c. the kicker movement put him there and thats why he was contacted.

  3. Whhy October 23, 2017 6:20 pm

    Bring in instant replay.

  4. Jus Saying October 24, 2017 7:19 am

    What questionable calls is Coach Akana referring to? The illegal blocks in the back that there is photographs of? The unsportsmanlike conduct that everyone in the stands witnessed? The Saints have a history of multiple personal fouls in every game. Like I have been saying for awhile now, the Saints have the ability to be a great team but until they clean up their play, they are their own worst enemies.

  5. reading between the lines October 24, 2017 8:04 am

    How about all the stuff Damien does and doesn’t get called for? During the Pac-Five game, after one of the plays, #54 punched someone below the belt after tackling him and #22 pushed another player in the back hard enough for him to stumble forward. I saw it on the jumbotron clear as day and so did everyone else by the crowd reaction when they showed the replay. But not one penalty. I heard they were supposed to get suspended for 2 games, but apparently, they still played this past weekend.

    I know there are a lot of questionable and uncalled penalties, but Damien seems to get away with a lot. My friend’s kid always has scratch marks on his face after playing them. He even had a blood shot eye and scratches on his gums. The only way that could happen if there were fingers going into his facemask. How does that happen without a single face mask penalty?

  6. Bartolommeo October 24, 2017 9:09 am

    @reading between the lines, that’s not true at all haha. If you know football you know you can get a bruised eye or bloodshot eye from getting hit hard enough. I’ve seen it with my own eyes. Our quarterback one game had a bruised eye a bloodshot eye because he said he got hit so hard his helmet was lose and something happened. So don’t try to make like. And punching? It’s called punching at the ball, evolved players now days do that.

  7. reading between the lines October 24, 2017 10:28 am

    @Bartolommeo: I may not understand being hit hard enough for bloodshot eyes, but punching the player (the ball was no longer in his possession) AFTER the whistle was blown? Pushing a player in the back AFTER the whistle was blown?

  8. Bartolommeo October 24, 2017 12:32 pm

    @reading between the lines, well that just shows how much you have been watching these teams play because Saint Francis almost every play has a kid being excessive and pushes, back, front, side, from any angle after the whistle. Tensions run high and kids will be kids. Every team has those type of players, I’ve seen it with my own eyes. So don’t try to say a team plays dirty because they play hard, and 1 guy lets his emotions get the best of him.

  9. reading between the lines October 24, 2017 1:46 pm

    @Bartolommeo, I’m not saying Saint Francis does not commit penalties; they get a lot of penalties, but that was not my argument. I am just amazed at how much Damien got away with in their last game against Pac-Five. Although “tensions run high and kids will be kids”, that doesn’t excuse any player from committing a penalty and it doesn’t explain why referees allow it to happen. The specific penalties I am speaking of are not due to playing hard; they were well after the whistle and would have easily been called on any other team. I am proud of the Pac-Five boys for not retaliating; they just walked away without engaging.

  10. Q October 24, 2017 11:02 pm


  11. Bartolommeo October 25, 2017 11:14 am

    @resding between the lines, for retaliating…. you are full of it. I could say the same for those PAC 5 boys. But I’m not going to sit on here and bash kids to make them look bad. Come on now, if you’ve been watching football this season like I stated before I’ve seen many teams do what you just said, PAC 5 included. So don’t give me that.

  12. Tutukane October 26, 2017 12:14 pm

    Bartolommeo …I agree with Reading between the lines – you missed the point!

    I took in this game while waiting for the St. Louis vs Kamehameha game. I saw the Damien players throw & land punches, Damien offensive players push their opponents from the back down to the ground, as well as the Damien players with their arms around the necks of the opponents in choke holds! The officials never called these infractions against Damien so it continued throughout the game – as long as the players & coaches feel that it’s OK without ramifications, it will continue. To this point – on the 2nd attempted kick – the Damien player did pull back so not to get another infraction (by the way, the whole controversy about the block kick would not have happened if officials had thrown the flag against Damien for movement prior to the snap of the ball)!

    My admonishments…to the coaches – you are there up front & see it all & should immediately correct your players; to the officials – be fair & impartial because what I saw that night was neither; we count on you so that the players are kept safe & do not get hurt!

  13. Q October 27, 2017 8:19 am

    @ Tutukane… (by the way, the whole controversy about the block kick would not have happened if officials had thrown the flag against Damien for movement prior to the snap of the ball)!

    What were you watching, the center snapped the ball before the D-Line moved….That’s was a clean blocked…don’t take that away from the player that made a Great Play only to be denied by TutuRef…

    Lens Crafters have Glasses on sale by 1 and get 1 free for you and Mr. Evans…

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