The game between Brother Rice (Michigan) High and Cass Tech (Michigan) High over the weekend was billed as a battle between two of Michigan's top high school football teams. Both managed to win state titles in 2011, so the head-to-head meeting at the Prep Kickoff Classic at Wayne State University seemed like the perfect way to start the new season.
But instead of showcasing the talented players on the field, the game was overshadowed by two gang-related fights in the stands that occurred during the middle of the third quarter that sent players and fans scattering as police tried to get a handle on the situation.
According to multiple reports from ABC affiliate WXYZ in Detroit, CBS Detroit and Deadline Detroit, the game was tied at 12-12 in the third quarter when things got out of hand near one of the stadium's entrances. Within minutes, fans reportedly made a mad dash for the north end of the stadium, knocking over fences in the process. Players sensed there was something going on as well.
Shouting came from the entrance, suggesting gunfire caused the melee. As the chaos broke out, the Cass Tech players immediately hit the ground and the Brother Rice players ran towards the far sideline, near their bench. They too laid on the ground as police attempted to control the situation.
Assuming the situation had been contained, players took the field to restart the game, but within five minutes, play was once again delayed when fans started screaming from underneath the stadium. Police reportedly arrested two individuals but wouldn't confirm if either had a weapon on them when they were taken into custody.
The game was eventually completed, and as many expected, it was a tightly contested battle with a 74-yard touchdown from Cass Tech being the difference in a 25-18 win over Brother Rice.
Unfortunately, all everyone wanted to talk about after the game was the altercation that had Wayne State Police lamenting the decision to open the gates to the general public during the third quarter.
"What would we do differently? We probably would not allow that many people in the stadium," Wayne State Police Chief Tony Holt told CBS Detroit. "Once the ticket stadium is sold-out … we'll leave it at that."
Detroit was playing host to the Kickoff Classic for the first time -- Ypsilanti at Eastern Michigan University was the site of the two-day event in the past -- but after what transpired during the Cass Tech-Brother Rice game, there's a good chance officials will likely think twice before bringing the game back to Wayne State in the future.