Two metro-east high schools forfeit this week’s football games after bench-clearing fight

There will be no Friday night varsity football for Granite City and Cahokia high schools this week.

Both teams have forfeited their games this Friday after several players on each team were suspended for clearing the benches for an on-the-field altercation during last week’s matchup between the Warriors and the Comanches.

Granite City was scheduled to host Centralia High School and Cahokia was scheduled to play at Carbondale High School Friday at 7 p.m.

Video of the fracas shows that, with about three minutes left in a lop-sided game, a Granite City player ran and shoved a Cahokia player after a play. An altercation ensued on the field before several Granite City players came onto the field followed by several Cahokia players.

The altercation didn’t escalate beyond that, Illinois High School Association Assistant Director Sam Knox said. He said about 30 players from each team left their benches and went onto the field.

“It was a few seconds of chaos,” he said.

Nonetheless, the IHSA rulebook states that any player who leaves the sideline is ejected from the game and has to sit the next game out.

The game was suspended with Cahokia leading 54-14, but it will count as a loss for both teams since it wasn’t completed. The forfeits this week will also count as losses.

“It’s simple on our end. We want to do what’s right,” Granite City Athletic Director John Moad said of this week’s forfeit.

He said the school is embarrassed about what happened and wanted to make sure to correct it to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

Cahokia Athletic Director DeMario Weeden also said he wants to prevent this from happening again.

“It’s unfortunate what happened, but the rules are the rules,” he said.

With the forfeit, Granite City will be 0-4 on the season. In the three prior losses, the Warriors have been outscored 155-23.

Last season, the Warriors defeated Madison for this lone victory of the season after having lost 18 games in a row.

The District 9 Board of Education voted in 2017 to move the Warriors athletic program out of the Southwestern Conference, citing primarily safety concerns following a basketball game at East St. Louis. The Warriors currently are members of the South Seven Conference.

Coming off a 4-5 season, Cahokia had secured a win over Alton before falling to Edwardsville in Week 2.