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Football: Character counts at Washington

October 8, 2012 | 10:50 am

The alumni and anyone associated with Los Angeles Washington ought to be thrilled with what's happening with the football program under first-year Coach Harry Causey.

A Washington graduate and former assistant coach, he came back from the junior college ranks to try to make a difference. And he is.

Causey and his quarterback, Damian Murrillo, were interviewed during an appearance on the SoCal Prep Report, and I was so impressed with Causey's impact on his players. It reinforced my belief that coaches can and do make a difference.

On Friday night, Washington was in position to win its fifth game of the season against Wilmington Banning. The Generals trailed, 14-13. As the clock ran out and the horn sounded, Washington receiver Keith Scott kept running with the ball before being tackled in field-goal range. An official threw a flag (see video above). They were ready to assess a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Washington players and fans were excited about a final chance to win the game.

Then the officials reversed themselves and ruled it was a dead-ball penalty, ending the game.

"Tears," is how Murrillo described his reaction.

But players maintained their composure. It was class being shown by a Washington team that has learned about discipline from its coach.

The officials have been counseled by the City Section assigner, Tony Crittendon. The flag shouldn't have been thrown if it was really a taunting penalty after the tackle had been made.

Most important, Washington deserves credit for its "Pursuing Victory with Honor" moment at a time of frustration.

-- Eric Sondheimer