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'It’s sad when a handful of students ruin it for other people' | Rivalry game stopped early after 'significant student altercation'

No arrests were made but the district said the fight was "witnessed by hundreds of students and adult visitors."

GERMANTOWN, Md. — Montgomery County police were forced to break up a "significant student altercation" during a high school football game on Friday. The incident follows a worrying series of similar events at other schools around the region over the past several weeks.

The fight broke out at Seneca Valley High School as the team took on rival Northwest High School on Friday night. 

According to the Montgomery County Police Department, officers arrived at the scene and confirmed a group of people had been fighting.

In a statement sent to WUSA 9, Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) said there were rumors that a gun was used in the altercation. However, the district said no evidence was found to back up the claims.

A district spokesman said a 15-year-old boy who not a part of the fight was sent to the hospital with an injury he suffered while trying to climb a fence.

As a result of the incident, the game ended early.

"It’s really sad to disparage our community and for this handful of people to have an incident that ruined it for thousands of other people," said Kari Hill, whose daughter attends Seneca Valley and was at Friday's game.

Hill said the fight came after school officials recently warned parents in the area that elementary and middle school students attending the games would need to be escorted and supervised at all times while at the games.

A copy of the message said the requirement was needed due to recent "unsafe behaviors" from younger school-aged children.

Hill told WUSA9 that she and her daughter have never felt unsafe at Seneca Valley and commended the school for its handling of the games.

"I see a strong security presence at the games. I lean on the side of trusting the administrators are doing everything they can to keep the students safe," Hill said. "I tend to feel like MCPS has strong policies in place and closed down the game out of an abundance of caution.” 

In a statement, MCPS said security precautions are in place at every high school game across the county to handle events like the one seen at Seneca Valley. 

"MCPS security and school staff are also always on hand at these events; staff is expert in working to calm high anxiety situations and this was the case for Seneca Valley High School on Friday night," a spokesperson wrote. "It is extremely unfortunate that students turn to violence to resolve disputes and find it appropriate to share this unacceptable behavior on social media."

The spokesperson added that the school will have extra support and security on Monday to help staff and students feel secure in coming to school. 

Other schools have faced similar bouts of violence this season.

The Stafford County Sheriff's Office said it responded earlier this month to the Stafford County High School homecoming game after rival groups fought one another. A 19-year-old man and two students were arrested for their involvement in the incident.

Moving forward, Hill hoped remaining games this fall would be safe for crowds. 

"I don’t know what more they could do to make it safe because people are people and we’re living in a very urban area," she said. "It’s sad when a handful of students ruin it for other people.”

RELATED: Police: 17-year-old arrested after two teens shot in Freedom High School parking lot after football game

RELATED: WUSA9 Game of the Week: Lake Braddock High School vs Robinson High School

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