The NJSIAA announced Saturday that the Central Jersey Group 2 semifinal football game between Camden and Pleasantville will be completed Wednesday afternoon at a neutral site.
Spectators will not be allowed to attend.
The playoff game was stopped with 4: 58 remaining in the third quarterFriday night when gunfire erupted in the Pleasantville bleachers. Camden held a 6-0 lead on Nazir Dale’s 11 – yard touchdown run in the second quarter.
In a statement released by the NJSIAA, executive director Larry White stated:
“Our thoughts are with all those impacted by the Friday evening shooting in Pleasantville, where a scholastic football game was being played between Pleasantville High School and Camden High School. We are extremely appreciative of law enforcement officers, school administrators and educators, and members of both communities for their support during and in the aftermath of this incident.
“After discussions with administrators and coaches from both schools, as well as with law enforcement officials, the decision has been made to complete the game on Wednesday, November 20, at a neutral site that will be closed to the public. Utilizing a neutral, closed site will enable student-athletes to conclude their game without outside distraction.
“To be clear, the decision to complete the approximately 17 minutes remaining in this game was made by both schools. It was based not on any desire for an athletic championship, but to provide closure and send a powerful message that acts of violence and those who perpetrate them will not win. The outcome of this game will be decided where it should be – on the playing field.
“I’m humbled by the courage of our student-athletes; no matter what the scoreboard says, they all are winners, “echoing comments made by Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon Tyner. ‘Our community will not be held hostage.’”
Camden coach Dwayne Savage was comfortable with the decision.
“We needed a couple of days – probably both teams – to get on the right page,” Savage said.
“We always preach to our kids that the football field is their safe haven. That may have been broken the other day, but that’s always been our motto. Inside the white lines is where you can forget your problems and be the best you can be. ”
Said Pleasantville coach Chris Sacco: “Our team is very excited to have an opportunity to finish the game. ”
The Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office said Saturday morning that six men had been charged in the shooting spree that left a 10 – year-old child and a 27 – year-old male victim in critical condition with gunshot wounds.
The 27 – Year- old man was among those charged.
(A) – year-old male suffered a graze wound and was treated at a hospital and released.