The City College and Poly High school football teams will not participate in the state public postseason tournament after several altercations took place following the teams’ annual rivalry game Friday evening at Johns Hopkins University’s Homewood Field.

“It was a fight involving the players as well as other students and community members from both teams,” said Baltimore City Public Schools spokesperson Sherry Christian.

Christian said the decision was made by Tiffany Byrd, Supervisor of Athletics for city schools, and the school system’s Chief of Police Akil L. Hamm.

In a letter sent Monday to both school communities, the incident violated city and state athletic guidelines.

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“When a team engages in a fight, they are automatically suspended for the next game. For both of our teams, this means that they will not participate in the state playoffs,” the letter said.

Poly (7-2 overall) and City (6-3) would have been seeded third and fourth, respectively, in the final Class 3A South Region playoff standings.

The playoffs start this weekend with opening round action.

City coach Rodney Joyner and Poly coach Marquise Neal were notified by their respective school administrators late Monday morning.

Both said members of their coaching staffs were involved in the fracas, but not players.

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“I don’t think the punishment fits the crime,” said Neal. “If it was an issue with guys fighting from either team, you get the numbers and they’re out for the next game. If it’s some coaches, they get suspended for that week…it was never a whole team thing.”

“There’s no evidence of players fighting each other,” said Joyner. “You see adults but you don’t see any players. I was sort of confident that part of it was going to be easy to resolve…It’s an unfortunate situation.”

Two Poly players and a City player were ejected from the game for fighting.

The school system letter also said “there could be additional consequences” as “videos and accounts of the incident” are reviewed, and students and adults will be disciplined, “as necessary.”

City defeated Poly, 24-16, in the 133rd renewal of one of the nation’s longest public school football rivalry games. The Knights’ victory was their 10th straight in the series.

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The game was live streamed as part of the Ravens Rise High School Football Game of the Week series.

As the final seconds elapsed, City players began celebrating on the field and several students spilled onto the field. Some City players and students went over to Poly’s sideline and near the stands.

A Poly player is shown charging towards the group but was stopped by a Poly athletic coach.

Seconds later, a far camera angle shows several more fans and or students coming onto the field from the City’s side. An altercation between non-football players breaks out on the field, and a Poly player appears to throw a punch as the scrum is broken up.

Another altercation, involving two non-football players, takes place and both fall onto the turf. The camera zoomed in as both teams converged onto the scuffle.

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The broadcast quickly cut away to a closing package of pregame and in-game highlights.

“Unfortunately, fighting and poor sportsmanship cannot be tolerated and there are clear consequences,” the school system letter continues. “While we are disappointed that these teams will not compete in the playoffs, we are hopeful that all involved will learn from this experience and carry on the great traditions of our respective schools.”

City and Poly’s exit leaves the Class 3A South with six teams - Atholton, Centennial, Marriotts Ridge, River Hill and Wilde Lake from Howard County, and Digital Harbor from Baltimore City - participating in the postseason.

Atholton, ranked No. 10 in the latest Baltimore Banner/VSN Top 20, and River Hill, will have byes into the second round.

City and Poly, which met for the first time in a state postseason match last year, would’ve hosted first round games this weekend.

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“The team said they played like a team for an entire game. We felt like we were in a good place going into the playoffs,” said Joyner, whose team won six of its last seven decisions after a 0-2 start. “From that perspective, they were obviously upset. But they can rest their heads knowing that they didn’t do anything wrong.”

“The 24-hour rule was over with and we were like ‘let’s prepare for the playoffs,’ a whole new season,” said Neal, a former player under legendary coach Augie Waibel, who guided his alma-mater to its best season in a decade. “It was unlikely but maybe we should see them (City) again. Then, to get this news today really hurts.”