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One football game in the Southern Maryland Athletic Conference will not be played Thursday night.
Westlake was scheduled to play at Lackey High School in a 6:30 p.m. contest, but the game has been canceled, according to a Thursday morning press release from Charles County Public Schools.
The release states that “the cancellation is a forfeit for Westlake as a result of a one-game suspension for unsportsmanlike conduct that occurred at a game last week.”
There will be no makeup game, the release states, so Lackey receives a forfeit victory by the score of 2-0, its second straight win to start the season after a 47-0 shutout of La Plata on Saturday night. Westlake now will be 1-1.
The game the release refers to is a 20-13 victory by Westlake over Bowie of Prince George’s County. Senior John Bell’s 42-yard punt return for a touchdown with two seconds left in regulation gave the Wolverines the victory.
In between Bell’s bookending touchdowns, the first being an 82-yard kickoff return to begin the contest, both teams spilled onto the field in a benches-clearing skirmish in the third quarter after Bowie strong safety Randel Emakoua made a tackle.
Four players, two from each side, were ejected during the fight.
Bowie’s ejected players were starting right tackle Eugene Lindsay and reserve running back Maxwell Willis, Bowie head coach Jae Jackson said after Saturday’s contest.
Westlake head coach Marlon Curtis did not remember during a postgame interview after Saturday’s contest which two Westlake players were ejected, just noting they were role players.
“I was very surprised [the fight happened],” he said. “I did not see what happened [to start the fight]. I was watching the group tackle that took place. The melee kind of took place over by the numbers [on the field toward the sideline]. I don’t think either side knows what ignited it and started it.
“A lot of bad decisions were made. It’s a learning experience. You hate to learn that way, but the guys are going to know, from this point on, it’ll never happen again.”
Curtis responded to Southern Maryland Newspapers on Thursday morning after the decision was made to cancel the game.
“I was disappointed for a second by the call, but you treat this as a loss that happened the week before and you move on to the next game,” Curtis said. “You can’t spend time dwelling on it. This should be a motivator because we have to make up lost ground now. The state deemed it necessary for us to forfeit tonight’s game because of the ejection of players from both teams.”
Lackey head football coach John Lush added Thursday morning, “We don’t control the state regulations; obviously our kids were excited to play. We haven’t got a chance to beat Westlake since 2008, so this is a game we were looking forward to since last year. These type of things are out of our hands. We just have to learn from this and make sure we are not in the same situation. We have to be careful and conduct ourselves at all times.”
The release states that notification of the canceled game was sent by email to Lackey and Westlake parents Wednesday.
“Incidents of unsportsmanlike conduct are routinely investigated and often violate Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association, Charles County Public Schools and individual school athletic rules,” the release states.
firstname.lastname@example.org Staff writers Dallas Cogle and AJ Mason contributed to this report.