The 9th annual SERVPRO First Responder Bowl at historic Cotton Bowl Stadium between the Boston College Eagles (7-5, 4-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) and No. 25 Boise State Broncos (10-3, 7-1 Mountain West) has been canceled due to inclement weather. The game has officially been ruled a no-contest.
“In the interest of safety for our teams and fans, the 2018 SERVPRO First Responder Bowl was unable to be continued,” Brant Ringler, the bowl’s executive director said. “The decision was made after lengthy consultation with emergency personnel, both universities, ESPN and Cotton Bowl Stadium staff.”
The game was suspended due to lightning at 12:59 p.m. CT with 5:08 remaining in the first quarter. The game was officially cancelled at 2:20 p.m.
“After more than an hour since stoppage of play, and with review of the active lightning and thunderstorm cells still in the area of the Cotton Bowl, it was determined that the game should be called,” said Pete Derzis, ESPN senior vice president of ESPN Events and programming. “All parties were concerned about player safety first and foremost, and with that being the primary concern, as well as the fans in attendance, it was a unanimous decision to cancel the game.”
“This was an awesome week. The first responders and the bowl game were first class in every way, said Bryan Harsin, Boise State head coach. “It was exciting to play in this venue and this opportunity. Unfortunately, we don’t control the weather… As coaches, administrators and fans, you go out there and enjoy the game, but you have to take their safety into consideration. Those guys wanted to play. When you are a player, you are set to play. We made a sound decision, we had to make a decision and that is what you do. That is bigger than playing in the game. You have to make sure you make the right choices for your student-athletes.”
“This is a first, and I’ve never seen it before,” said Steve Addazio, Boston College head coach. “I don’t second guess anything about it. It is a first and it is disappointing, however, the decision was made for the right reasons and that is the welfare of both teams players and I totally understand that. I appreciate the fact the bowl put our and Boise’s players ahead of a lot of other things. I am not sure how many can do that. I am very appreciative for that.”