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2016 Divisional Playoffs

Steratore, Morelli, Cheffers, Corrente are Divisional Playoff referees

Football Zebras has confirmed the referees for the Divisional Playoffs.



Football Zebras has confirmed the officiating crews for the Divisional Playoffs. Officials are listed with their uniform number, years of NFL experience (including this season), the crew each official worked with in the regular season (by the referee’s name), college, and outside occupation.

All times are Eastern.

Three alternates are assigned to each game: generally, one is designated for the offensive backfield (a referee or umpire), one is on the line of scrimmage (head linesman or line judge), and one is a deep position (side judge, field judge, or back judge). When alternates are listed, their position during the regular season is also given. The prior playoff experience that is listed for the crew chief includes his service as an NFL official, including as referee and any other crew position (excluding alternate assignments). 

Also of note, the eventual Super Bowl officials are working this weekend’s games, but not all are from the same crew.

Saturday, Jan. 14

Seahawks at Falcons, 4:35 p.m. FOX 

The Seahawks and Falcons have Gene Steratore as their referee. Steratore is in his 14th season and 11th as referee. This is his 10th postseason assignment, including 3 Wild Card Playoffs, 5 Divisional Playoffs, and 2 Conference Championships.

      Yrs 2016 crew College Occupation
R 114 Gene Steratore 14   Kent State co-owner, supply company
U 129 Bill Schuster 17 Steratore Alfred insurance broker
HL 110 Phil McKinnely 15 Vinovich UCLA inventory control
LJ 8 Dana McKenzie 9 Boger Toledo claims adjuster
FJ 50 Aaron Santi 2 Torbert Southern Oregon middle school principal
SJ 1 Scott Novak 3 Cheffers Phoenix sales manager
BJ 105 Dino Paganelli 11 Steratore Aquinas College educator
  • Replay: Darryll Lewis
  • Alternates: Ruben Fowler (U), Ron Marinucci (LJ), Lee Dyer (BJ)

Texans at Patriots, 8:15 p.m. CBS

In New England, Pete Morelli, who is in his 20th season and 15th as referee, will head the crew for the Texans and Patriots. This is Morelli’s 16th postseason assignment, including 7 Wild Card Playoffs, 6 Divisional Playoffs, 2 Conference Championships, and Super Bowl XXXVI. His Super Bowl assignment was as a field judge.

      Yrs 2016 crew College Occupation
R 135 Pete Morelli 20   St. Mary’s high school principal
U 14 Shawn Smith 2 Triplette Ferris State internal auditor
HL 79 Kent Payne 13 Cheffers Nebraska Wesleyan teacher
LJ 47 Tim Podraza 9 Cheffers Nebraska corporate real estate
FJ 88 Brad Freeman 3 Cheffers Mississippi State sports park director
SJ 109 Dyrol Prioleau 10 Triplette Johnson C Smith manager, law firm
BJ 61 Keith Ferguson 17 Hussey San Jose State sales
  • Replay: Tommy Moore
  • Alternates: Walt Coleman (R), John McGrath (HL), Terrence Miles (BJ)

Sunday, Jan. 15

Steelers at Chiefs, 8:20 p.m. NBC 

NOTE: Kickoff time moved from the early afternoon slot due to the forecast of an ice storm that may affect travel to the game.

Carl Cheffers is the referee for the Steelers-Chiefs game; he is in his 17th season and 9th as referee. This is Cheffers’ 10th postseason assignment, including 4 Wild Card Playoffs, 4 Divisional Playoffs, and 2 Conference Championships.

      Yrs 2016 crew College Occupation
R 51 Carl Cheffers 17   California-Irvine high school principal
U 64 Dan Ferrell 14 Corrente Cal State-Fullerton internal auditor
HL 22 Steve Stelljes 15 Morelli Friends teacher
LJ 45 Jeff Seeman 15 Parry Minnesota corporate real estate
FJ 67 Doug Rosenbaum 16 Morelli Illinois Wesleyan sports park director
SJ 7 Keith Washington 9 Parry Virginia Military Institute manager, law firm
BJ 30 Todd Prukop 8 Corrente Cal State-Fullerton sales
  • Replay: Tom Sifferman
  • Alternates: John Hussey (R), Kevin Codey (LJ), Dale Shaw (FJ)

Packers at Cowboys, 4:40 p.m. FOX

For the rematch of the 2014 Divisional game, Tony Corrente is the referee. This is his 22nd season and 19th as referee. This is Corrente’s 16th postseason assignment, including 5 Wild Card Playoffs, 5 Divisional Playoffs, 5 Conference Championships, and Super Bowl XLI.

      Yrs 2016 crew College Occupation
R 99 Tony Corrente 22   Cal State-Fullerton retired educator
U 102 Bruce Stritesky 11 Vinovich Embry Riddle airline pilot
HL 32 Jeff Bergman 25 Triplette Robert Morris president and chief executive officer, medical services
LJ 2 Bart Longson 2 Corrente Brigham Young co-founder and CEO, digital finance company
FJ 82 Buddy Horton 18 Corrente Oregon State water service worker
SJ 75 Rob Vernatchi 13 Corrente California-Riverside enforcement investigator
BJ 133 Steve Freeman 16 Triplette Mississippi State custom home builder
  • Replay: Carl Madsen
  • Alternates: John Parry (R), Gary Arthur (LJ), Dave Meslow (SJ)

Cam Filipe is a forensic scientist from Massachusetts and has been involved in football officiating for 11 years. Cam is in his third season as a high school football official. This is his eighth season covering NFL officiating for Football Zebras.

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