Brawl halts Southern-Olney game

Posted: October 05, 2012

By Ted Silary

Daily News Staff Writer

Wayne Brunson will never forget the day he broke Southern High's acknowledged school record for rushing yards in one game.

Reason? The game was ended early, because of an all-out brawl.

As the visiting Rams bested Olney Charter, 32-8, in Public AAAA Silver on Friday, Brunson carried 16 times for 207 yards and three touchdowns, bettering Tyrell Cooper's 204-yard effort in 2006. He also added three catches for 32 yards and one more score.

But with 7:50 left, according to Daily News statistician Paul Schneider, a scuffle between a Southern receiver and Olney defensive back mushroomed into something gigantic, causing referee Bill Hall to halt the contest.

"Stuff was going on everywhere," Schneider said. "It was pretty scary."

Ken Geiser, the Public League football chairman, said Friday night that he had spoken with both coaches - Southern's Scott Pitzner, Olney's Larry Arata - and Olney athletic director Cindy Dougherty and that the accounts of all three had led him to believe "the incident was very serious."

Geiser said that he asked each school to write reports and provide game films, and that punishments, if any, will be handled by Robert Coleman, the Pub sports czar.

There were two other developments elsewhere Friday.

Also in AAAA Silver, Thomas Edison forfeited to Abraham Lincoln because of low numbers. And in AA, Saturday's night game between Imhotep Charter and Del-Val Charter, to be played at Germantown's Benjamin Johnston Memorial Stadium, was switched to 3 p.m. because of concerns over crowd control.

Lincoln coach Ed McGettigan said that he received a call around 11 a.m. from Sonia Pez, Edison's first-year athletic director, and that Pez mentioned Edison's numbers are low because questions have arisen about the eligibility of players who attend Mariana Bracetti Charter. Those schools form a cooperative sponsorship for football.

Two weeks ago, in a loss to Horace Furness, Edison used a quarterback from Bracetti, Jason Hutzler, who turned in a spectacular performance. One problem: While starring in basketball during the 2010-11 school year at Lindenwold High in South Jersey, he'd widely been listed as a junior.

"It stinks to practice all week," McGettigan said, "and then find out the day of the game that there isn't going to be one."

Of the Imhotep/Del-Val game, Geiser said: "Those schools are very close to each other and have big followings. When you hear certain things . . . The safe thing to do is play it in the afternoon."

Said D-V AD Will Cambria: "We had to be very proactive with this. We felt this was in the best interest of the student bodies."

Contact Ted Silary at silaryt@phillynews.com. High school coverage online at www.philly.com/rally.

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