Atholton-Wilde Lake football game halted in the third quarter due to an off-field incident

·2 min read

Sep. 3—A fight in the crowd at a Howard County high school football game Friday night caused the game to be suspended. Security personnel and Howard County Police were able to disperse the crowd, and no serious injuries were reported.

Midway through the third quarter in the Wilde Lake at Atholton football game in Columbia, play was paused due to fighting in the crowd.

On a YouTube video of the game from Atholton Athletics, Wilde Lake was getting ready for an offensive play, when referees signaled to stop the game midway through the third quarter. Wilde Lake's offense returned to their sideline, as Atholton's defense started heading back toward their sideline.

On the way back, several Atholton players began to run toward the commotion. As security personnel and school staff made their way over toward the large crowd, those players returned to the sideline and Atholton players walked to gather in the opposite end zone. Wilde Lake gathered on the grass just beyond the field adjacent to their bleachers.

Roughly five minutes later an announcement was made over the public address system: "All Howard County public school students please vacate the stands and make your way to your automobiles and leave the stadium safely and orderly."

About three minutes later, students are seen sprinting away from the exit back onto the field. Two minutes later, an announcement was made, "For the safety of players and fans the game has been postponed."

Howard County Police officers assisted school officials in the incident.

"Police assisted school security and administrators in restoring order and dispersing the large crowd after the game was canceled," according to the release from Howard County Police. "A metal fence/sign was knocked down as students left the stadium which we believe caused some to believe they heard a gunshot. This was not the case, and no firearms were located. There were no serious injuries."

No announcement has been made regarding when the game will be made up.