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Gun Panic Scuttles High School Football Game

Andy Berg

A high school football game in Florida will not be replayed after one team walked off the field due to a disturbance in the stands.

According to the Pensacola News Journal, Pine Forest High School won’t have to forfeit its game to Washington after leaving the field Friday night. Both teams agreed to the let the game be recorded as a tie, as it was tied 0-0 in the third quarter when Pine Forest exited the field.

"It can be difficult trying to fit another game into a season," said Escambia County superintendent Malcolm Thomas. "Not to mention, the expenses to hire referees and law enforcement for an additional night...the principals and athletic directors (from Pine Forest and Washington) said let's leave things here and move on."

Pine Forest left the field after an officer for the Pensacola Police Department who was working security at the game was alerted to a physical altercation happening behind the stadium. The officer found a large group of teenagers gathered behind the stadium who then fled when the officer approached.

The group of fleeing students apparently caused a panic in the south side of Washington’s stadium, which eventually caused hundreds of people to run away from the section. The Journal reported that someone in the stands claimed someone in the group had a handgun. Across the field, Pine Forest fans panicked and began leaving the seating area.

That panic eventually reached the field. Pine Forest players and the game’s referees ran off the field, and the white hat referee ruled a 1-0 victory for Washington, saying Pine Forest was disqualified for leaving the field. The ruling was reversed and the game will be recorded as a tie.

Police did not see or locate a handgun at the scene.

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