Football: Marshall-Mission game ended before halftime due to fight, coach misconduct
By Lamonte Dewindt
Update (Monday 9:30 p.m.): According to San Francisco Section commissioner Don Collins, Mission will be credited with a 37-0 win. Information on possible suspensions or any other discipline will be announced on Tuesday.
The Academic Athletic Association football game between Marshall High School and Mission on Saturday at School of the Arts was ended by the game’s referees with 1:10 remaining in the second quarter, after a verbal exchange between a Marshall head coach Nicholas Wilson and a Mission player.
Following a timeout from the Marshall sideline, Mission senior Antoine Porter returned a punt 45 yards for a touchdown, which put the Bears up 37-0 with 1:10 left in the half.
Wilson screamed from the sideline, pleading with the referees for a clipping penalty, then asked if there was a flag thrown on the opposite side of the field that he could not see.
A Mission player then said to Wilson, “No, it was on your team,” which led Wilson to respond by saying to the player, “Don’t talk to me, little f–––––.”
Editor’s note: Wilson’s comment above is a direct quote, as it was heard from reporter Lamonte Dewindt on the Marshall sideline. Wilson contends the comments “were not exactly what he said.” Wilson went on to say in a phone interview on Saturday night that he “said something to the player like, ‘Get back to your huddle,’ then said something into the headset about that player. I don’t remember exactly what I said.”
The referees then ended the game, which left many on the field and in the stands confused as to what had occurred.
According to San Francisco Section commissioner Don Collins, the game will be without a result, with no team receiving a win or loss, until he is able to review the referees’ report. The result, as well as suspensions and/or other discipline, is expected to be released Monday.
The game’s ending was the boiling point of what was already a heated contest, which had a fight break out earlier in the game.
Following a 20-yard run by Porter, a Marshall and Mission player engaged in a shoving match, which led to the Marshall player throwing the Mission player to the ground.
The Mission player then fell on top of the Marshall player and began to throw punches.
Players from both teams rushed to the altercation, while referees and coaches hurried had to separate the players. When things finally calmed down, the referees and coaches met on the field for over 20 minutes to sort out the consequences of the fight.
The referees eventually decided to eject three players from Marshall and two from Mission.
Although his team lost two players, which will also likely be suspended for next week’s game against Balboa next week, Mission head coach Joe Albano was mostly pleased with the way his players reacted to the heated moments.
“I’m not glad one of them fought, but he was being jumped on, so it was just reaction,” Albano said. “I’m not happy one guy popped off on the sideline, [but] for the most part we kept our heads cool.”
According to Marshall athletic director Ken Wilson, who was on the sideline, the referees explained to both coaching staffs after the fight that they were willing to cancel the game if they felt they needed to.
“We were already told [with the score] at 13-0 after the fight that they wanted to call the game,” Ken Wilson said of the referees. “We talked to our guys, who decided they wanted to continue on and they showed a lot of heart playing.”
“Obviously, today was a bad day for the whole league,” Nicholas Wilson said in a phone interview Saturday night. “The head referee urged us to call the game after the fight. Our guys didn’t want to quit . . . I, personally, don’t feel great about how things ended. Obviously, as a coach, I should never address a player on the field, but at the same time, my guys were out there fighting and I was trying to fight for them.”
In the context of the football game, Mission scored early and often on a depleted Marshall defense. Porter scored on the first play from scrimmage and carried the Mission offense for most of the game, scoring five of the Bears’ six touchdowns (three rushing, one passing and one on a punt return). He had 61 yards on 2-of-2 passing and 72 yards rushing on six carries.
The Phoenix struggled offensively and missed multiple players due to injuries and suspensions, most notably starting running back Quintrell Anderson, who was sidelined for a knee injury.
Jeremy Balan contributed to this report.