The James Madison Dukes coaching staff did its best to get referees officiating their game against the Utah State Aggies to overturn a call and pull out a phone to show them what they had missed.
In the second quarter, with about 10:29 left in the first half, Dukes head coach Curt Cignetti spoke to multiple officials about a touchdown awarded to the Aggies. Utah State kicker Elliott Nimrod ran for an 18-yard score on a trick play to finally put his team on the board. But the dukes thought differently.
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James Madison Dukes head coach Curt Cignetti during the Appalachian State Mountaineers game at Kidd Brewer Stadium on September 24, 2022 in Boone, North Carolina. (Eakin Howard/Getty Images)
James Madison thought Nimrod stepped out of bounds before scoring. One of the Dukes’ assistants pulled out his phone and Cignetti grabbed it and showed it to officials. The linesman grabbed the device and quickly handed it back to the coach.
The call stood and Utah State got on board with their first score.
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Nimrod’s touchdown would be the start of the Aggies’ comeback attempt. Utah State trailed 38-17 at halftime and would eventually tie the game at 38 apiece with 11:01 left in the game.
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James Madison quarterback Jordan McCloud throws a pass against Utah State, Saturday, Sept. 23, 2023, in Logan, Utah. (Eli Lucero/Herald Journal via AP)
James Madison quarterback Jordan McCloud scored his sixth touchdown of the game with 5:52 remaining. He threw a 74-yard pass to Reggie Brown to move ahead 45-38. The Dukes won by the same margin.
McCloud was 23 of 34 with 364 passing yards and four touchdown passes. He also had two touchdowns on the ground. Brown finished with five catches for 160 yards and two scores.
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James Madison running back Kaelon Black carries the ball against Utah State, Saturday, September 23, 2023, in Logan, Utah. (Eli Lucero/Herald Journal via AP)
James Madison moved to 4-0 on the year and Utah State fell to 1-3.
Ryan Gaydos is editor-in-chief for Fox News Digital.