The Big Sky Conference acknowledged Tuesday that a penalty called in the final seconds of Portland State’s 23-17 football victory over Northern Colorado last Saturday was incorrect.

Northern Colorado was erroneously penalized for an illegal block with 3.6 seconds remaining, negating a 25-yard touchdown by the Bears that would have tied the game and given them the opportunity to take the lead with a successful extra point.

Big Sky Conference Commissioner Doug Fullerton said during the film evaluation process it was obvious that an incorrect call was made. The player penalized from Northern Colorado was blocked into a Portland State player, and should not have been called for an illegal block.

“We absolutely are concerned when this happens, and it is vital that we be able to honestly evaluate ourselves,’’ Fullerton said. “That call was incorrect, and it cost Northern Colorado the tying touchdown. We don’t normally speak about officiating, but this mistake came at a critical juncture in the contest and greatly affected the outcome of the game. Unfortunately, there is nothing now that can be done to reverse the call. We are apologetic when these mistakes happen, as they do during the course of any athletic season.’’

Big Sky Conference