BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — A football game between two Buffalo Public Schools teams was abruptly called off Friday night after a fight broke out between two students in the stands, a district official confirmed.
Michael House, BPS athletics director, told WIVB News 4 he made the decision to end the game between Bennett and McKinley at halftime after two female students got into a physical altercation inside Robert E. Rich All-High Stadium. Buffalo Police Department officials said multiple arrests were made in connection with “fights” at the stadium.
“It’s very disappointing and very embarrassing that we would have some students that would try to take the attention away from our student athletes and coaches and resort to violence,” House said. “Violence is not the answer.”
House said Buffalo police responded to the scene quickly after a crowd of students began to congregate around the area where the altercation between the two students was taking place. Police and BPS security officers worked to clear the scene, keep the teams separated and get everybody safely out of the venue.
“We strategically divided up the teams, made sure that all the football players and the cheerleaders were safe, split them to both ends of the stadium and then onto the buses and dismissed all the spectators. Everybody left the stadium but there was a lot of kids just congregating, you know, not having anything positive to do on a Friday night, which is very disappointing.”
In a video by WNY Athletics, commenters say that a commotion broke out, with the public address announcing telling spectators to sit down in their seats.
While the video does not show any type of physical altercation, a loud commotion can be heard, from what the commenters say, came from near the sideline, with 10 seconds on the board counting down to the start of the second half.
The game ended after two quarters with Bennett leading 36-0, and Bennett was officially credited with a win, House said.
A BPS spokesperson in a statement that the district is working with police to investigate the situation and that “this type of behavior will not be tolerated.”
Justin McMullen is a Western New York native who joined the News 4 team in 2023. You can read more of his work here.