CLIFTON - The Paterson versus Clifton high school football game was supposed to take place in Paterson Friday night, but Paterson was forced to give up the home-field advantage after concerns grew about gun violence.
A decision to move the game to Clifton was made Thursday after shots were fired near the football field Tuesday night while the team was practicing.
Eastside High School football coach Ken Eatman said the decision to move the game was the right thing to do.
"We are being entrusted with these young men by their parents to ensure their safety. It's something that happened; we responded appropriately,” Eatman said.
Budget cuts have eliminated 30 percent of the Paterson school district security force. For the last few years, Eastside football games have been played on Saturday afternoons.
Most of the parents on both sidelines supported the decision to move the game.
“It’s kind of sad because of what's going on in Patterson. But again it's for the safety of the kids and people for both teams. Hopefully everyone enjoys themselves,” said Clifton parent Patricia Prevot.
However, not all parents supported the decision. Some Eastside High School parents said it puts the Paterson players at a disadvantage.
“They lose home-field advantage, and hat plays a very important rule when it comes to playing sports,” said Cornell Johnson.
There is no word on if other Eastside home games will be moved. Clifton High School won the game 45-13.