Palm Desert football team forced to forfeit after CIF suspensions

Result of San Bernardino benches-clearing brawl

Palm Desert Brawl

PALM DESERT, Calif. - The Palm Desert high school football team has forfeited their league opener this Friday against Cathedral City as a result of suspensions handed down from the governing body of high school sports in the state, the California Interscholastic Federation.  After meeting with athletic directors from Palm Desert and San Bernardino, the CIF made the decision to suspend every Palm Desert player who either A) was involved in the fight on the field or B) left the sideline during the fight.  A guideline in the CIF rulebook says if any player leaves the sideline when not in the game, they will be suspended one game. The same suspensions have been handed down to the San Bernardino team.

The fight broke out with less than fives minutes to go in the Aztecs' final non-league game in San Bernardino on Friday.  The Aztecs led 45-6 and a running clock was being utilized.  A late hit led to a punch being thrown, then both benches cleared. The fight was quickly dispersed by parents and coaches on the field.  Referees called the game early, awarding Palm Desert their first win of the year.

The suspensions come at a terrible time for the Aztecs, because Desert Valley League play begins on Friday.  They were scheduled to face Cathedral City on the road.  The forfeit possibly hampers the Aztecs chances of earning a playoff spot in the postseason.  Many Aztec players and coaches said the match-up with Cathedral City was a "must-win."

Athletic Director Darol Salazar said he plans to appeal the decision from the CIF.

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