An in-game altercation launched one of the wildest post-game brawls we’ve seen in a long time after Saturday’s 68 Ventures Bowl at Hancock Whitney Stadium in Alabama.
During the second quarter of South Alabama’s 59-10 beat down of Eastern Michigan, Eastern Michigan player Korey Hernandez became entangled with South Alabama defensive back Brian Dillard. After the game, Hernandez rushed over while the South Alabama players were singing their school’s alma mater and punched South Alabama defensive back Jamarrien Burt in the head from behind.
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Dillard, who is Burt’s older brother, according to AL.com, then went after Hernandez in the opening round of what turned into a swirling mass of players as the two teams fought it out.
“I didn’t see things when they happened,” Eastern Michigan coach Chris Creighton said after the fight. “But I definitely saw the intensity of what had just happened. We had a really good, long talk in the locker room afterwards. We want to be first-class all the time, no matter the circumstances, no matter what the scoreboard is, no matter what other factors, people, whatever are involved. And anything short of being first-class is not living up to the standard that we have in Eastern Michigan football.
“I think that our guys care a lot about performing well. I’m sure we were embarrassed by how we played, and it probably didn’t take too much to get our guys into a place that we hope that they never get.”
South Alabama coach Kane Wommack promised to investigate the matter.
“This is a very special game, it’s a hard game,” Wommack said. “It’s a team game, and you do everything you can on a football field to be the best for your teammates. And at times, things get emotional, and they get passionate and we ask these guys to play on the line of that emotion and passion in every single way. Those are never things that you want to end a game with.
“We will certainly take ownership of our part. We will look and find out exactly what happened. I couldn’t tell you exactly what did. I’ll get more information as we go. … We’re going to win, but it’s also how we win. And so we want to make sure that we hold people accountable to the standard that we want to operate, in the way we want to represent the city of Mobile and the University of South Alabama.
“Those will be things that we’ll get to the bottom of, but this is a night to really be proud of the things that we’ve accomplished and the young men that do things the right way. And that’s why we’re here.”