Sunday's playoff football game involving the Langley Stampeders and Nanaimo Redmen took a nasty turn late in the fourth quarter.
The Redmen blanked the Stampeders 23-0 in the Vancouver Mainland Football League Midget Division quarter-final, but the score took a backseat to some rough stuff that took place in the waning moments.
"It was a bit of a donnybrook," said Stampeders coach Shane Thompson.
With under two minutes remaining in the the game, a fight broke out on the field between two players, and the end result was an ambulance being called to the field, said said Langley Minor Football president Wayne McMurchy, who saw it all unfold.
In an email to the Langley Advance, Nanaimo parent Peter Mckechnie wrote, "After watching your undefeated Langley Stampeders midget football players today in Nanaimo, I can't imagine how the rest of the people in your city act."
McMurchy said the referees "were the root cause of the issue that happened on the field. When referees are blind to calls, kids get frustrated. When they [the referees] are doing their job, you don't notice them on the field."
McMurchy said the Langley quarterback was hit well after he threw the ball, with no flag, at least three times.
According to Thompson, the main combatants in the kerfuffle wrestled each other to the ground, and the Nanaimo player ended up injuring his neck.
Nanaimo head coach Sean Roden spoke to Thompson Sunday night and gave a status update on the injured player: "He's going to be fine," Thompson said.
The player involved in the scuffle, which took place with under two minutes to go in the final quarter, complained of neck pain.
McMurchy told someone nearby to call an ambulance. Meanwhile, the injured player's neck was stabilized. McMurchy said he was taken away, alert and conscious, but sore.
"His mom was there and she didn't seem the slightest bit concerned," McMurchy said.
According to Mckechnie, throughout the game there was overly aggressive and unsportsmanlike behaviour from the Stampeders' players.
"As the game progressed and [the] Nanaimo Redman team clearly had the lead, Langley Stampeders didn't take their losing very easily," Mckechnie wrote. "Just before the game ended.... approximately two minutes (the score being 23-0), the Langley Stampeders football team must have thought they were playing hockey by starting a fight with the Redman's team."
Mckechnie asked, "Have you ever seen a brawl at a football game at any level of play. It wasn't enough to start a brawl but one of the Nanaimo Redman players was beaten up by the Langley Stampeders and they had to call an ambulance for him."
McMurchy said there was a verbal confrontation in the stands and some pushing and shoving on the field, but the only fight that took place involved two players.
The Nanaimo parent was incensed. "When I look at these kids' behaviour that I have seen from your Langley team, I have to wonder where this behaviour originates from. Where do these kids grow up? What kind of parents do they have? All I could see while looking at these kids of yours is them at one of your local pubs, 40 years old and making child support payments earning 10 bucks an hour," he wrote. "If your children ever come back to Nanaimo to play any sporting event please, please improve their manners."
Thompson said it was a tough day all around for the Stampeders.
"We were playing on a field that we weren't used to playing on and we were getting beaten, which the kids didn't like," he said. "We are a team that relies on speed and they play more of a power running game and the field that we were playing on, boy oh boy, what a cow pasture!"
@ Copyright 2013