Video: Working the refs gets dangerous in Texas high-school football game; Update: Survey results added

More like working over the refs, in this case. A Friday night football game between John Jay and Marble Falls high schools got ugly after a Jay player got ejected from the game in an altercation with the opposing team. A couple of plays later, one JHS player blind-sided an official, while another speared the man while he was down on the field. Here’s the video:


The view from the other end zone doesn’t make it as clear as the video from the stands, but the play is nowhere near this referee. Both players are clearly aiming at the official; the second one aims for him on the ground. It’s a malicious and coordinated attack on a defenseless man, who’s lucky to still be walking after this attack. Other officials ejected the first player and mistakenly ejected another who didn’t take part, but school and league officials know who these players are now:

In the video, a John Jay player wearing jersey No. 12 runs directly at an official during a play that occurred with about a minute left in the game. He starts from the Mustangs’ 5 yard line and runs about seven yards before barreling into the official, who is standing in the center of the field with his back to the player.

After the play, it appears that another Jay player, possibly wearing jersey No. 81, dives on the official, leading with his helmet, while the official is on the ground.

In a phone interview with KENS 5 Sports’ David Flores on Sunday, NISD Athletic Director Stan Laing said the two players involved in the incident have been suspended from the team and from school, pending an NISD investigation.


That’s a curious comment from KENS’ Dave Flores, who contributed to their report. That may relate to the coordination on this play between the two assailants. Clearly they both had the same idea at the same time, and that doesn’t seem coincidental. The question will be whether anyone else gave them that idea, or whether they were just dumb enough to dream it up on their own. Suffice it to say that any investigation of this incident will also be taking a close look at other players on Jay High School’s football team, and their coaches as well — although it’s very, very difficult to believe that adults would be stupid enough to order this kind of brazen battery on an official. Not impossible, mind you, just very, very difficult. The game had already gotten out of hand earlier, resulting in the earlier ejection, so this at least reflects on the team’s leadership on the sidelines as well as between the lines.

What should be the punishment for this kind of cowardly, cheap-shot attack on a game official? This Waco news anchor says they should never be allowed to walk onto a football field again:

That would be my choice, too, assuming that an investigation corroborates what was seen on the video. What do you think? Take the poll.


Update: I’ve closed the poll, and here are the results from 1,556 responses. Over 99% of readers believe this attack was deliberate, which … is no surprise, given the video.  When it comes to scholastic punishment, 56% said expulsion was the appropriate consequence:



Almost exactly two-thirds of respondents wanted a lifetime ban on all athletics applied, and almost another 15% said a lifetime ban on football. Less than one percent wanted less than a one-season punishment:



More than three-quarters of respondents want criminal charges against the players. Slightly more than 15% wanted it handled within the realm of the school:



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