LUMBERTON — Atlantic Coast Conference football referee and Lumberton native Brad Allen was among the North Carolina contingent that worked the 98th Rose Bowl football in Pasadena, Calif., on January 2.
Allen, who has also been active in officiating circles with the North Carolina High School Athletic Association, was the referee in a wild 45-38 game won by Oregon, a contest that went down to the final play.
He was joined by umpire Mike Webster, a Fairmont native, and Lumberton’s John Armstrong, the game’s replay official in the booth. Webster is a booking agent for the NCHSAA.
According to the Robesonian newspaper, which ran an excellent feature about the officials' experience, Webster and Armstrong have worked together since 1978 when the pair officiated a junior varsity football game at Whiteville High School.
“It was one of the best experiences overall I’ve ever had outside of the game,” Webster was quoted as saying. “College football games are sort of like my philosophy on my children; you love them all equally, but the atmosphere surrounding each is different and enjoyable.”
All three members of the officiating crew witnessed one of the finest bowl performances from two teams in history, a contest that featured 1,129 yards of offense and a series of dramatic touchdowns. Oregon won its first Rose Bowl in 95 years.
Allen’s crew was selected through an evaluation system used in grading officials. The rigorous system includes a thorough inspection of game film, missed whistles and conversations regarding calls after plays have been reviewed. Webster has been on Allen’s crew each of the last five seasons.
Congratulations to these outstanding officials for a great accomplishment in being selected to officiate "The Granddaddy of Them All!"