Title lost when HS player celebrates winning TD

December 6, 2011 1:35:43 PM PST
A Massachusetts high school lost a state championship game because a player raised his arm in triumph as he ran for what would have been a go-ahead touchdown.

The gesture by Cathedral High School quarterback Matthew Owens in Saturday's Division 4A Super Bowl drew a penalty. The referee was enforcing a sportsmanship rule that prohibits players from celebratory or taunting behavior while scoring a touchdown.

Watch YouTube video of the Touchdown

The 18-year-old senior was racing for a score as time wound down in the game against Blue Hills Regional Technical School. Video shows Owens briefly raising his left arm as he approaches the end zone.

The penalty nullified the touchdown. Cathedral lost the game 16-14.

Owens' father tells the Boston Herald that his son wasn't taunting, just showing a normal human reaction to an exciting moment.