WAYNE, NJ (CBSNewYork) — A superior court judge has denied the motion to stay the suspensions of nine high school football players from Wayne that prevents them from playing this weekend’s state championship game.

LISTEN: 1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg reports

The case has been deferred to the New Jersey State Department of Education, which will hear the case on Thursday.

The school board voted to suspend the Wayne Hills players for their alleged role in a fight last month involving students from Wayne Valley.

The lawsuit claimed the district didn’t have the authority to punish students for off-campus behavior.

Lawyers for the nine players say they are innocent until proven guilty and that barring them from this Saturday’s game will do irreparable harm.

“If these kids don’t play, everyone is going to know who they are and five months from now, a lot of these cases are going to be dismissed,” said attorney Ronald Ricci.

The suit wanted the suspensions stopped until the criminal charges are resolved.

The football players are facing assault charges stemming from that alleged fight.

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