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Huge Utah faceoff suspended after shocking electrical fire during game

Cameron Smith
Prep Rally

Of all the ways that the much ballyhooed early season faceoff between Jordan (Utah) High and Salt Lake City (Utah) East High could have conceivably ended, no one would have predicted the way it unfolded: With fire trucks rolling onto the field and teams rushing off the field in a full-scale evacuation following a major fire in the stadium's electrical room.

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Jordan football players wait outside the East stadium after a fire suspended their game — Salt Lake Tribune

Jordan football players wait outside the East stadium after a fire suspended their game — Salt Lake Tribune

As covered in detail by the Salt Lake Tribune's Kyle Goon, the Jordan-East game, hyped as a faceoff to determine the unofficial title of "Best team in Utah," was moving along roughly as scheduled into the third period, when suddenly an administrator for East High ran into the school's press booth and told the stadium announcer to ask any fans parked in the school's South parking lot to move to accommodate an ambulance. That prediction of an ambulance was quickly changed to a fire truck, which duly rolled onto the field.

Yet, despite the sudden appearance of multiple fire trucks, the game kept going as if nothing unusual was happening.

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Fire fighters inspect the East High electrical room — Salt Lake Tribune

Fire fighters inspect the East High electrical room — Salt Lake Tribune

According to Goon, shortly after the trucks arrived word trickled out that the fire in question was in the stadium's electrical room, clarifying why the rumors of an ambulance had quickly been replaced by a fire truck. Then, with the game continuing apace on the field, Goon and others in the press box began to get a faint whiff of fire itself.

That's when Goon made the quite wise decision to abandon ship and run down to the field, all in a valiant attempt to get any reactions possible to the fire. Coaches and players were still scrambling to figure out what was happening -- all with East nursing a 28-27 lead in the third period -- when stadium officials informed them that the stadium would have to be evacuated and all lights and power cut off for the fire to be put out.

Faced with that dire scenario, referees called the game. Initially, the faceoff was scheduled to resume on Saturday morning back at East High, but the teams and officials later thought better of that decision, instead deciding to rule the game a no contest for the time being, all while keeping the stats gained by all players in the official logs.

It officially remains a suspended game, though it is uncertain if the two sides will ever link back up to finish off the final quarter and determine a winner.

"This game is kind of cursed, isn't it?" East coach Brandon Matich told the Tribune, noting that the matchup at East was the result of a previous cancellation between the two teams in a season kickoff event.

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