Wichita Falls, TX - A pair of Texas High School athletes who brutally hit a referee from behind during a high school football game may face criminal charges.
Friday night lights ended ugly when two John Jay High School players took out a referee during a matchup against Marble Hills High School at home.
The gruesome hit was captured, posted online and has since gone viral.
Following the incident, both players were kicked off the team and suspended from school indefinitely.
In response to the incident, Northside ISD released a statement. A portion of it reads, "The video that we saw is extremely disturbing. It is not the good sportsmanlike behavior we teach students."
The school district, University Interscholastic League, which oversees high school athletics in the state, and the Marble Hills Police Department have all launched investigations.
One legal expert said depending on the findings of these investigations, both players could be fighting for their freedom.
"The helmet is going to arguably be considered a weapon. especially in the manner of the use of the second subject that struck the official. and in that case if the helmet is considered a weapon, that will make it a felony," said James Reeves, a former police officer, now a criminal defense attorney.
Reeves said what happened leading up to the hit is crucial in the investigation. he says the video is so short whoever is investigating should conduct interviews to determine if the referee was targeted.
Officials said prior to the referee being hit two John Jay players were ejected from the game on previous plays.
The district plans to address the matter when schools re-open Tuesday morning.
In the meantime, the district's athletic director said that the students are suspended indefinitely pending the outcome of the investigation and due process hearing.
No arrests have been made at this time, but the Marble Falls Police Department is investigating and currently looking at multiple videos taken at the game last week.