Catholic Central assistant coach Matt Mullen, who was filling in for Irish head coach John Detling, called it an “unfortunate” situation.
“Both teams were playing super hard,” Mullen said. “They got tangled up. At that point they were so competitive and whatever happened happened.”
The game was being played cleanly and competitively between both teams until the scrum happened, Mullen said. Several of Springfield and Catholic Central’s players worked out together in the summer and have great relationships, he said.
“I felt great about the aggressiveness on both teams,” he said. “Sometimes when these things happen, it’s a build up and I didn’t feel like it was a build up at all. I felt like it was an unfortunate situation where a couple guys got tangled up and things happened.”
The highly-anticipated game between city schools saw nearly 1,500 fans in attendance at Springfield High. Catholic Central entered the game 10-0 and are currently ranked 10th in Division IV.
Springfield led 20-15 midway through the second quarter, but the Irish went on a 21-3 run to take a 36-23 halftime lead.
Catholic Central extended the lead to 17 points early in the third quarter. The Wildcats fought back, cutting the lead to 11 points at one point until the game was suspended.
Springfield (2-3) is scheduled to host defending state champion Centerville at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, while Catholic Central is scheduled to host Triad on Tuesday.