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High School Football Players Suspended After Barreling Into Referee

"The first thing we want is that those two kids never play football again."

A pair of San Antonio high school football players have been suspended from their team and their school after they appeared to tackle a field official during a Friday night game.

The tackle occurred in the final minute of a game between John Jay High School in San Antonio and Marble Falls High School, located roughly 50 miles northwest of Austin. 

John Jay was trailing Marble Falls 15-9 in the final minute of the game, according to the San Antonio Express-News. In video of the incident, a John Jay player wearing jersey No. 12 is seen charging into the back of the referee from seven yards away as the ref watched a play unfold nine yards in front of him. As the official went down, John Jay player No. 81 ran from the other flank and barreled into the man headfirst. 

Names of the high schoolers and the official have not been released.

The Northside Independent School District in Texas and the University Interscholastic League, which governs high school extracurricular programs in the state, are investigating to find out why the players charged the official.

The two players were immediately ejected from the game, the Express-News reported; two other John Jay players had already been ejected during the match in separate plays. 

The referee was "very upset" and "wanting to press charges," Wayne Elliot, the Austin Football Officials Association secretary, told The Associated Press.

"The first thing we want is that those two kids never play football again," Elliott said.

Pascual Gonzalez, a spokesman for the Northside Independent School District, called video of the incident "extremely disturbing." 

John Jay ultimately lost the game. Marble Falls coach Matt Green said John Jay coach Gary Gutierrez apologized afterwards.

Green told the Express-News that the rival coach was upset with his players and does not believe Gutierrez condoned their actions.  

"I've coached 14 years and I've never seen anything like it," Green said.

After video of the tackle began to make rounds on the Internet, the University Interscholastic League said it was "extremely concerned about the actions portrayed in the football game between Marble Falls and San Antonio Jay" in a statement released Sunday.

"The League is working with the school districts and officials involved to conduct a thorough investigation. The UIL takes this matter very seriously and will take appropriate action once the investigation is complete," the statement said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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