Note to North Carolina football teams: Don’t fight. No matter how angry you are, it’s not worth it. Just ask Northern Vance.
The North Carolina High School Athletic Association officially barred the Vikings from the postseason due to multiple ejections in the team’s 7-5 loss to Warren County on Friday. The state association would not confirm how many players were ejected from the contest, but the state rule stipulates that if three or more players or coaches are ejected for fighting in the course of a season, the team will be deemed ineligible for the playoffs.
As noted by the News & Observer, Northern Vance had three or more get the boot in the single game, all due to a fight with Warren County players.
It’s possible that some of the ejections were drawn from players who left the bench during the skirmish; leaving the bench during an altercation is punished with an automatic ejection in North Carolina play.
The postseason ban will be a bitter pill for Northern Vance, which entered the season on the back of a campaign that just missed the 2015 playoffs. The team is led by a vaunted defense that held Warren County to -69 yards rushing (yes, you read that right), but still lost due to a fumble returned for a touchdown.
Now, no matter how much better the Northern Vance offense gets this year, they won’t be able to prove themselves in the playoffs.