High school football team knocked out of playoffs -- by coin flip

High School Football Team Knocked Out of Playoffs by Coin Flip

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Apparently in high school football, winning isn't all that matters.

Andrew Jackson’s High School football team, which posted a 4-5 record, said it was robbed of a playoff spot to a team that went 0-9 this season.

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The method for deciding which team went to the postseason? A coin flip.

Andrew Jackson High School was given privilege of calling the coin toss. Andrew Jackson head football coach Antoine Atwater called heads, but it landed on tails.

Atwater said his team deserved a playoff spot and would’ve liked the two teams to play -- rather than doing a coin toss.

“For the season to come down to a coin flip to determine whether you go to the playoffs or not, it's kind of tough. It's a tough situation kind of swallow,” Atwater said.

Here's why a coin flip happened. The Florida Athletic High School Association said based on strength of schedule, Andrew Jackson tied in points with Gadsden County.

Both teams collected 276 points. The tiebreaker was a coin flip.

Atwater said it was a heartbreaking end to the season for his team.

“They came in and worked hard and not to be rewarded for their hard work is very disappointing,” Atwater said.

According to the rules, points are distributed based on the category the team’s opponent is in. For instance, if you play a Category 1 team, you are awarded 50 points for a win and 35 points for a loss.

This season, Andrew Jackson played mostly Category 4 teams. Gadsden County played mostly Category 2 teams.

In addition, bonus points are awarded for scheduling and playing a team that participated in the playoffs the previous two-year scheduling cycle.

Andrew Jackson received only six bonus points, compared to Gadsen County’s 21 points.

Coach Atwater said he hopes this fires up his team to play with a purpose next season.

"I think that's going to be our motto next year, is unfinished business to kind of finish what we started here and kind of leave no doubt that we should have been in the playoffs," Coach Atwater said.