KRQE-TV.com - LAS CRUCES - A New Mexico high school football rivalry escalated into an ugly brawl, and now both teams learned there will be consequences just as they enter the playoffs.
The Las Cruces vs. Mayfield game quickly became an example of bad sportsmanship Friday night. Five players from Las Cruces and four players from Mayfield have been suspended for their next games, the first in the playoffs.
The post-game fight erupted in front of a crowd of more than 20,000 at Aggie Memorial Stadium. The Mayfield Trojans had just beaten the Las Cruces Bulldawgs, winning the District 3 6-A Title. The final score was 28 to 27.
Right after the game ended, all the chaos erupted on the field. “It’s an intense rivalry. Everybody knows that. Tempers flare. Things happen, but that being said, that’s no excuse,” said Jim Miller, Las Cruces High School coach.
Mayfield’s coach, Michael Bradley, said, “This is one of the top rivalries in the nation. We’re under the eye of everybody, I tell our kids all the time is everybody’s watching you.” Las Cruces Public Schools superintendent Stan Rounds said the district holds its athletes to high standards and expects them to live up to those expectations.
“For 48 minutes we had good football,” Rounds said. “For 35 seconds we had bad decisions made by athletes,” he added at a Wednesday news conference. Both teams are entering the class 6-A playoffs. Some of the suspended students are starters, but the district hasn't identified them.
They won’t be allowed to participate in their next games, can’t travel with the team and can’t sit on the sidelines, Rounds said. Las Cruces will play Atrisco Heritage in Albuquerque Friday at 7:00 p.m. at Community Stadium.
Next weekend, Mayfield will face the winner of the Sandia-Clovis game. More