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Recent H.S. Football Forfeits Take a Turn for the Weird

Over the past few weeks, two different high school football games have been forfeited for, well, rather strange reasons.

On Oct. 30, a sideline-clearing brawl between Mountain Ridge High School and North Canyon High School, in Arizona, resulted in both teams forfeiting the game, according to The Arizona Republic.

North Canyon's head coach, Cornelius Bowick, told the paper that Mountain Ridge inserted a special-needs student into the game in the fourth quarter without North Canyon's knowledge. On one running play, North Canyon's tight end shoved the student to the ground away from the action, which incited one of his Mountain Ridge teammates to seek retaliation.

"We just thought he was a regular football player," Bowick said. "Our guy made a football play.

"They were booing, and we didn't know why. One of their kids came out of nowhere and blind-sided our kid, and it sparked it big time. ... It's pretty frustrating. It got out of hand fast."

Phoenix's ABC15 provided a look at the play in question, along with an interview with the student:

Both teams ended up having to forfeit the game, ending their seasons about 10 minutes early.

In California this past week, South Pasadena High School was forced to forfeit a 21-3 victory over La Canada High School that would have otherwise clinched a playoff berth for the former. According to the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, South Pasadena Principal Janet Anderson "received 'evidence' the football team had committed a violation of the CIF-SS Blue Book Rule 512 that prohibits videotaping or taking still photographs of an opponent's practice without consent of the participating school." La Canada's principal informed Anderson of the alleged violations on Thursday, but the two sides opted not to inform the teams of the forfeit until after Friday's game.

"The Rio Hondo League leadership made a preliminary determination that if South Pasadena was victorious in the contest, we would forfeit the game," Anderson wrote in an email to parents Monday, per the paper. "We discussed the option of forfeit in advance of playing the contest, but we had a league contractual obligation to play the game. It was La Canada's homecoming, they had plans already in place and, key from our perspective, we felt that our varsity football team would want to finish out the regular season by honoring this commitment."

Head coach Marty Konrad's brother allegedly taped La Canada's practice early last week, which led to the forfeiture. In a letter Konrad sent to parents Tuesday (which the paper obtained), he defended his brother's innocence.

"He did not film their practice. At no time did I or the other coaches ask for or receive video from him," wrote Konrad. "My coaching staff and I would never consent to this type of activity that is alleged of taking place. I asked the SPHS administration what evidence they had and they showed me a cell phone picture of a man sitting against a fence. I called my brother immediately and he confirmed he was there for 15 minutes before being asked to leave by La Canada representatives."

Needless to say, the South Pasadena players weren't too thrilled to find out upon returning to school that their season had ended despite the victory over La Canada.

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