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FOOTBRAWL: St. Mary, Harrison High School Game Stopped After Benches Clear, Fans Rush Field

ANYONE with photos of the emergency response please text: (201) 943-2794. Or email: jerryd@dailyvoice.com. Or PM: facebook.com/gerardjerrydemarco.
ANYONE with photos of the emergency response please text: (201) 943-2794. Or email: jerryd@dailyvoice.com. Or PM: facebook.com/gerardjerrydemarco. Photo Credit: GoogleMaps Street View/FACEBOOK

Benches cleared and fans ran onto the field during a brawl that canceled the varsity football game Saturday between St. Mary and Harrison high schools in Rutherford before halftime.

Police restored order as the Oct. 29th game was called in only the second quarter with the Gaels of St. Mary winning 30-0.

No injuries were reported, Rutherford Police Chief John Russo said.

An investigation was underway with possible charges expected.

"It began with players and coaches, then ended with fans entering the field," the chief said. "We have accusations of several assaults but we were unable to determine the validity at the time of the incident due to the chaos of the scene."

"However, this is very much an ongoing investigation," the chief emphasized, adding that his officers and detectives are reviewing video and speaking with witnesses.

The North Jersey Interscholastic Conference is also conducting its own inquiry.

Harrison parent Robin Grijalva said emotions "were already high" going into the game because of a player's social media posts.

"The tension thickened," she said, as players hit one another after the whistle on more than one play and the referees ignored it.

It all ignited during a timeout as Blue Tide head coach Ray Lucas, the former New York Jets quarterback, was talking with a referee and a St. Mary player "lunged" toward him.

"This alarmed everyone as it seemed as that player was about to put his hands on the coach, so both teams ran towards them & that was when the incident began," Grijalva said.

ANYONE with video or an eyewitness account from the incident is asked to contact Rutherford police: (201) 939-6000.

"It is an unfortunate incident when a high school sporting event deteriorates to these types of actions," Russo said, "but for spectators to enter the field to take matters into their own hands is unacceptable."

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ANYONE with photos of the emergency response please text: (201) 943-2794. Or email: jerryd@dailyvoice.com. Or PM: facebook.com/gerardjerrydemarco

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