River Rouge to appeal forfeited game

River Rouge is preparing to appeal the forfeiture of its Week One victory over Chelsea.

River Rouge's Lee Payton runs the ball during the second half of River Rouge's 34-16 win Saturday at Wayne State.

River Rouge’s Lee Payton runs the ball during the second half of River Rouge’s 34-16 win Saturday at Wayne State.

Cory Parker, Rouge’s athletic director and football coach, said he isn’t sure the school used an ineligible player against Chelsea, a game that was halted late in the third quarter after a 2 ½ hour delay by thunder and lightning.

“It’s still in appeal process, so we can’t really speak too much into it,” Parker said, “but I can tell you what the allegations were.”

It is alleged that a player who played in Rouge’s Week One junior varsity game also played in the 34-16 varsity victory over Chelsea.

►Related:River Rouge football forfeits Week 1 win over Chelsea

“One of the junior varsity guys that played in the junior varsity game on Thursday, we also dressed him on Saturday,” Parker said. “He played a great (JV) game. We told him we’re going to bring him up to varsity, he did an awesome job; he has a 3.0 GPA. He’s an awesome kid and deserved the opportunity to be at Wayne State for the Prep Kickoff Classic.”

If the player did indeed play in the varsity game that would be a violation of Michigan High School Athletic Association rules. A football player cannot play in a JV game and a varsity game in the same week. A player can move between the varsity and JV teams throughout the season, but can play in only one game per week.

“He was on the sidelines,” Parker said. “What I have to do is evaluate the film because the allegation is the kid played in the game. I have to take a peek at that myself because that’s part of our appeal.”

At this point the MHSAA was convinced enough to award the Week One victory to Chelsea.

River Rouge, which advanced to the Division 5 finals last season, beat Ann Arbor Huron, 70-0, in Week 2.

Contact Mick McCabe: 313-223-4744 or Follow him on Twitter @mickmccabe1

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