Action off the field overshadowed a football game between the Valley Huskers and Langley Rams last weekend, as unruly fans brought police racing to the field.
Late in the fourth quarter on Saturday night, with the hometown Huskers trailing the unbeaten Rams 66-0, a Langley fan came down from the stands and parked behind the Husker bench at Exhibition Stadium in Chilliwack.
Chilliwack’s team used to set up on the opposite side of the field, away from the fans, but they’re now on the seating side, separated from spectators only by a four-foot chain link fence.
“Certainly there was a commotion on the sidelines behind us,” Huskers coach Bob Reist said. “Our focus as coaches was on the game at hand and trying to get our guys away from that ruckus, and trying to keep them focused.”
Already frustrated by the one-sided game, and the Rams’ continued efforts to throw deep and keep scoring, the Huskers were in no mood to endure the heckler.
Up in the stands, five or six more Langley fans were behaving just as badly and refused to leave, prompting visits from Huskers officials. The game ended early.
“This was an isolated incident and we wanted to make sure we had enough security in case anything escalated,” said club vice president Jean Hincks, who is also a former publisher of the Progress. “We have never called the police to a game before and hopefully won’t ever have to in the future.”
President Brenda Currie said the Langley fans had brought their own “beverages” and she had a pile of empties to prove it.
She insisted the team’s new beer garden did not contribute to the problem, adding that bags will be checked at the gate at home games next season to make sure no outside alcohol is coming in.
RCMP spokesman Cpl. Mike Rail said police were called to the stadium for a report of four women in the stands “causing problems” and not leaving when security asked them to.
“As our officers were en route, we were told the players were getting worked up and there might be a riot. By the time we attended, people were leaving the stadium and the situation had been settled down. Our officers remained in the area until the majority of fans had left,” he said, adding no one had been assaulted or hurt.
Requests for comment have been made to Rams officials.