Black and white facts

IAN BUSBY -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:54 AM ET

Upon an-other review, George Black is backing Jake Ireland's decision and the Calgary Stampeders are moving on.

According to the CFL's director of officiating, the controversial ruling on the Ron Johnson incomplete pass that ended the Stamps' comeback bid in Toronto Saturday was correct.

Although Stamps president Ted Hellard was livid after the 23-16 loss to the Argonauts, he and head coach Tom Higgins prefer to put the incident behind them and worry about beating the B.C. Lions Friday.

"There's no use wasting money," Hellard said yesterday. "We have our opinion on the call. We don't see the point of a formal protest.

"You are charged a fee for the protest but there is nothing to be gained by it. Most of our problems are not with the game. It's with the brand.

"We're perusing on-line and apparently the brand is taking a hit. We wish that wasn't the case."

Internet message boards are filled with comments about Ireland and Black and how the call was blown.

Down by seven with less than minute left, Stamps quarterback Henry Burris threw to Johnson over the middle for what was first-down yardage. Johnson was immediately hit and went to the ground with the ball but it popped loose on impact.

By the wording in the CFL rulebook, Black said the call was correct.

In Article 6 -- Incomplete Forward Pass: section (e), while in mid-air a receiver of either team who has firm control of the ball, but loses possession of the ball when that player's feet or other part of the body hits the ground, with or without contact by any opponent.

"It's not a popular call with the Calgary fans but I believe it was the right call," said Black, who was on the sidelines at the time.

"When the play happened live, I said to myself it's not complete. I saw the Jumbotron and confirmed it came out quickly. I wasn't surprised that the replay guy upstairs wanted Jake to have a look at it. It was a crucial play and it was just as well to have Jake confirm the ruling was correct."

When Higgins addressed the team, he told them to put the incident behind them and not to allow themselves to get into a situation where they need two touchdowns in the final minutes.

"We should just hang onto the ball," said Higgins.

"We'll let it take on whatever form it will take on. What I've told the players is it had an effect but it shouldn't have come down to letting that be a possibility."


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