Some 14 players from two Pennsylvania football teams are facing suspensions following an unruly brawl in the fourth quarter of a Western Pennsylvania face off between Sharon (Penn.) High and Hickory (Penn.) High. The incident has also resulted in probationary sentences for both schools involved, with further penalties possible when members of both school districts meet at a meeting with the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association on October 5.
As reported by the Associated Press and a handful of other outlets, the 43-7 Sharon rout of Hickory turned ugly after the tackle on a late punt forced one Sharon and one Hickory player out of bounds together. Once hitting the sidelines, the Sharon player's teammates jumped in to try and defend their teammate.
You can see what happened next in the video above. Everything rapidly descended into madness, with players from both teams rushing toward each other and throwing punches. Even the coaches for both teams eventually met in a tense stand off at midfield where both men screamed at each other from point blank range.
Referees were finally able to regain control of the situation on the field, then promptly made sure that no further incidents would occur by calling off the remainder of the game.
"It was regrettable, and you know, we're embarrassed by that," Sharon City Schools Superintendent John Sarandrea told the WYTV.com.
Sarandrea added that the Sharon players involved in the brawl all received a one-game suspension and a weekly suspension from practice while two players would also receive school-related consequences.
Meanwhile, the AP reported that one Hickory player was forced off the team because of his actions in the brawl, with seven other Hickory players receiving one-game suspensions that will keep them out of action on Friday.
The fight could also have significant consequences for the future of the Sharon-Hickory rivalry. PIAA Executive Director Brad Cashman told WYTV that the game would have to be played on a Saturday morning at a neutral site in subsequent seasons for the undisclosed length of the programs' probations.
Regardless of when -- or if -- the game is played in 2012, Sarandrea said he hoped that players from both teams would learn something from the embarrassing altercation.
"Both schools need to sit down with their respective coaches and players, and speak to them about what appropriate decorum is, and how you're supposed to handle emotional situations," Sarandrea told WYTV.