H.D. Woodson High School lost its four-year winning streak to Ballou High School at the Turkey Bowl on Thanksgiving Day.
The loss came after more than one dozen players from Woodson were first suspended because of a violent altercation.
Some parents and students said the decision was unfair, but DC Public Schools stood behind its decision.
Video from two weeks ago showed a fight breaking out on a football field between Woodson and Eastern High School players.
“It broke out after another kid hit the player in the back of the head,” Marvin Tucker, who witnessed the fight, said.
The fight broke the department’s rules which cares a penalty of one-game suspension.
“That was laid out before the school year. It was laid out during the season. It was laid out before the playoffs started.” DCPS Chancellor Antwan Wilson explained.
At the time, 18 players from Woodson and seven players from Eastern were suspended for one game.
“At the end of the day we all make mistakes, and we could have just overlooked that,” Jaysen Freeman, a Woodson HS Alumni, said.
After nine students appealed, one Woodson player got the suspension overturned while the rest were forced to remain on the sidelines.
“Certainly, losing really good players for a game is going to have an impact. I’m not blind to that,” Wilson said.
Wilson stood behind his decision explain it was all about safety and students being taught to follow the rules.
Some Woodson fans said the suspensions might have cost Woodson to lose the Turkey Bowl to Ballou.
“The truth is if it hadn't been for the suspension, we would have definitely dogged and won this game,” Freeman told WUSA9.
The students suspended from Eastern High School will have to sit out their first game next year.