By Paul Martino

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The WPIAL convened a hearing Wednesday afternoon following a high school football game that got so heated over the weekend that it had to be called off.

It was a game between Jeannette High School and Imani Christian Academy, a private school in the city’s East Hills that serves under privileged students. Outbursts by both players and fans caused several delays during Saturday’s game.

Five players were ejected, police had to be called and the refs ended the game with four-and-a-half minutes left.

Imani football coach Ronnell Heard and Jeannette coach Roy Hall were summoned in front of WPIAL officials today to explain why and how their game got of hand.

Coach Hall says he regrets it.

“Somebody tossed a bottle, their players came across the field,” said Hall. “Thank God none of our players retaliated, which I’m very proud of.”

The game’s referee testified that Imani Christian Academy’s players caused most of the trouble. One player allegedly rushed the stands, others charged the Jeannette bench.

It was a hard hitting game, with flags flying and lots of penalties. Fans came onto the field, the police were called, and five Imani Christian Academy players were ejected.

Hall: “There was concern for everybody’s safety.”

KDKA’s Paul Martino: “How did you feel about that?”

Hall: “It don’t know if it really matter, they’re in control of the game, and they did what they thought was best.”

Martino: “And you won?”

Hall: “Yes, we did.”

Game officials stopped the game with four and a half minutes to play, fearing for their safety.

The five players who were ejected are also suspended for the team’s next game, coming up on Friday night. As for WPIAL, there’s no word yet on what, if any, sanctions they’ll be taking. There will be a decision on Thursday.

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