AIA: Tempe Buffaloes, Saguaro Sabercats BOTH unsportsmanlike in forfeited football game

The Arizona Interscholastic Association , which governs fair competition between schools, reviewed video of the September 7th football game between Saguaro High School and Tempe High School and stated both teams played with "unsportsmanlike conduct."

Tempe High School forfeited the game after a cooling off period citing player safety after four players were injured, three of them were taken to the hospital.

The forfeiture, along with allegations that Saguaro High School was playing too rough, were brought before the AIA for review.

Late Wednesday, the AIA released its findings stating both teams at fault.

"After thoroughly reviewing the game breakdown, video tapes and reports from each school, the AIA believes the officials and referees acted appropriately. The game tapes and reports establish that both teams committed unsportsmanlike conduct penalties."

In its statement, the AIA listed penalties they saw between the two teams, and although Tempe High School was the accuser, the AIA list showed as many, and in some cases more, "unsportsmanlike" penalties.

Total Penalties: Saguaro 16 - Tempe 14                                     
Personal Fouls: Saguaro 5 - Tempe 1                    
Unsportsmanlike Conduct: Saguaro 1 - Tempe 3             

According to the AIA, one Saguaro football player and a Tempe Assistant Coach were ejected from the game.

But when it came to accusations that Saguaro purposely tried to injure Tempe High Football players, the organization said "No evidence has been provided that either team deliberately attempted to cause injury."

The AIA wrote that both teams are now facing possible sanctions. That decision is expected to be announced by the AIA Board of Directors at its October 22, 2012 meeting. 

Meanwhile Saguaro High School is going up against Fountain Hills High School on Friday.

Fountain Hills football parents and players met with coaches Wednesday night to discuss concerns over the upcoming game.

"Play hard, but not dirty, not to send someone to the hospital," the mother of Fountain Hills athlete Sonia Kukkola said. "It's hard to hear about that and know that your team is going to be playing them in the future."

ABC15 is continuing to work the story and will post more information as soon as it becomes available.

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