Countryside senior lineman Zach Rosinski and Northeast lineman Josh Bayers have been cleared to play Friday night by the Florida High School Athletic Association. Both players were originally suspended for six games after an incident on Friday in Countryside's 49-0 win.
In the referee's report, both were accused of throwing punches after an extra-point attempt. That is an automatic Level 2 suspension, which carries a six-week suspension. But after both Countryside coach Jared Davis and Northeast coach Mike Jalazo sent video of the game to the FHSAA, the ruling was changed.
"They are both cleared to play on Friday,'' FHSAA assistant executive director Justin Harrison said.
Jalazo said the tape he saw made it pretty clear there were no punches thrown.
"They just kind of walked away from each other,'' Jalazo said. "I guess the referee thought he saw punches, but there weren't any.''
Northeast plays at home against Tampa Catholic. Countryside plays at Wiregrass Ranch.
These mark the third six-week suspensions of Pinellas football players overturned recently. Officials said Largo's Harry Brown threw a punch in the Countryside game, which coincidentally involved Rosinski. After Rosinski wrote a letter saying no one punched him, and Largo submitted tape that showed the play from different angles, Brown also was cleared.