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Rock Bridge cancels football game at Battle due to COVID-19

Kevin Graeler
kgraeler@columbiatribune.com
Rock Bridge head football coach Van Vanatta addresses his team Sept. 4 after a win at Smith-Cotton.

The crosstown high school football game between Rock Bridge and Battle scheduled for this Friday night has been called off due to COVID-19.

Rock Bridge announced Monday it was forced to call off the matchup “due to a recent COVID-19 positive test and possible exposure” within its football program and that the rivalry game won’t be played “out of an abundance of caution.”

“The district and the health department are working through the appropriate protocols with regard to positive test results and close contact tracing,” Rock Bridge wrote in a statement Monday morning. “The health and well-being of players, staff and families is our priority. We appreciate your understanding and concern.”

This represents the second crosstown game canceled due to the virus this season.

Battle’s game against Hickman on Sept. 18 was called after a positive test within the Battle program, and the Spartans spent two weeks in quarantine before returning to the field this past Friday night at Moberly, where they won 37-36.

Rock Bridge (4-2) started the season 4-0 — exceeding last year’s win total — before losing back-to-back games to Helias and Liberty, the top-ranked teams in Class 4 and Class 6, respectively. The Bruins fell 52-28 at home to Liberty this past Friday night.

This week is the first time Rock Bridge’s schedule has been interrupted by COVID-19.

Rock Bridge is scheduled to host Hickman on Oct. 16 for the final all-CPS matchup of the regular season.

Battle (3-1) is left looking for a replacement opponent for the second straight week. Battle was scheduled to host Smith-Cotton this past week before virus concerns within the Tiger program led to that matchup being canceled. The Spartans acted quickly to add the game against Moberly to their schedule.

The prep football season is entering its seventh week of games out of nine in the regular season, with district play beginning Oct. 30.