Clerical error, coin flip leads to Jackson High's playoff elimination

By Kevin Talley - Sports photographer/producer, Nick Jones - Digital producer

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - After a terrific season, it was a heartbreaking elimination from the FHSAA football playoffs for the Andrew Jackson Tigers, which came down to a coin toss.

This is the second year of the new system to determine post season worthiness. A team that didn't win a game, Gadsden High School, earned a playoff spot in a coin flip over a Jackson High team, which had its best season in years.

"I got a phone call saying that we had tied points with Gadsden County (High School), and that we would do a coin flip," said Jackson Tigers Head Coach Antoine Atwater. "There was no way they could have caught us point wise, they were two teams under us."

It turned out it was a clerical error, which led to the coin flip that ended Andrew Jackson's football season Sunday morning.

"It's just seemed kind of unreal thinking that we just celebrated Friday and, you know, thinking we're going to be in the playoffs for the first time in (nearly) a decade," Atwater said.

Saturday morning the FHSAA admitted they had made a clerical error in calculating Gadsden County's points and that they were tied with Jackson for the last playoff spot.

"I just try to tell them (the players) to keep their heads up," Atwater said. "Use the frustration that we have, especially with our underclassmen, to use that as motivation for our next season."

Atwater said he plans on his team doing even better next season. He wants all the players to take each game seriously and play to win.

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