RIVERSIDE (CBSLA.com) — Two local high school football teams must forfeit their next games after a fight broke out on the field during their game Friday at Riverside City College.
With just under eight minutes left in the third quarter, the game between Santa Fe Springs’ St. Paul High School and Riverside’s Notre Dame High School went from a battle to a brawl.
A video showed the fight grew quickly as players from both benches rushed onto the field.
St. Paul was leading 17-0 when the fight broke out, prompting the referees to end the game.
CBS2/KCAL9’s Rachel Kim talked to Notre Dame students who were at the game.
“This team was a really violent team. Their band was taunting our team after the game and everything. And they just didn’t have good sportsmanship,” Notre Dame student Claire Thornton said.
“St. Paul was playing a little rougher than us. They were pushing, not getting things called,” Notre Dame student Marco Soto said.
The coaches, parents and students at St. Paul didn’t want to speak on camera. But one parent said Notre Dame was upset because its team was losing.
“Boys are going to be boys. I’m not saying it was OK. But there’s a lot of tension out there on those fields and a lot of pressure on those kids,” said Denise Monroe, parent of a Notre Dame student.
After an investigation, the CIF Southern Section announced Monday that St. Paul and Notre Dame broke the rules when the players left their benches during a fight and came onto the field.
So now, each team has to forfeit Friday night’s nonleague game as well as their next scheduled games.
Basically, both teams can’t play because too many players were suspended.
“It’s disappointing that both schools were sanctioned. Our school did show restraint, and I felt we showed restraint up until the game was called,” said Notre Dame High School Principal Matthew Luttringer. “This will be an opportunity for them to learn from this.”
Luttringer said his team, CIF champs last year, is owning their mistakes, and students agree.
“We’re Catholic faith. We’re not supposed to be getting in fights like that. That definitely doesn’t reflect our school or our team,” said Notre Dame student Marco Soto.
Notre Dame’s coach said he will appeal CIF’s decision and hopes to get enough players reinstated so they can play their next game.
St. Paul’s coach released a statement saying he was sorry and accepted the CIF’s decision.