Maplewood Richmond Heights won its first-round district game over Cleveland NJROTC by forfeit, following a fight that culminated with too many Cleveland players ejected to finish the game.
With MRH ahead 21-0 and 2:56 left to play in the first quarter, two MRH players tackled a Cleveland runner near the Cleveland bench. Immediately, nearly every Cleveland player from the bench piled on. Every one was ejected.
The game was delayed while school representatives, game officials, coaches, and Maplewood Police officers conferred on the field. It was called when it was determined that Cleveland didn’t have enough remaining players to continue.
MRH coach Rich Nixon is not naming those two MRH players at the bottom because he said after the game film is reviewed he will probably appeal the ejection.
They were in a “hostile environment,” and were fighting to get out, he said.
“I thought our kids handled the situation very well,” Nixon said. “I think we had one penalty in the 10 minutes we got to play, and the field was riddled with flags.”
Before the game was called, Wes Williams scored all three MRH touchdowns.
“He was off to a blazing start,” Nixon said. “It’s unfortunate things ended the way they did. We definitely wanted to play ball.”
Kicker Will Wadsworth was 3 for 3 on extra points.
MRH plays Lutheran North (3-7) Wednesday, Oct. 31 at 7 p.m. at MRH in the second round of district playoffs.