A full harvest moon hung low in the western Pennsylvania sky as a lopsided battle on the gridiron was drawing to a close when I witnessed a cowardly act of heartless violence.
A helpless and defenseless Hampshire freshman lay on the turf without a helmet as 2 Albert Gallatin assailants viciously attacked him while officials meandered slowly towards the fracas. Tragically for #22, severe damage had already been done by the time help arrived.
A concussion, the loss of hearing, swelling, bruises and multiple punctures across the face were some of the ungodly results of this malicious assault, a family member confirmed. The unprovoked attack featured multiple punches thrown by 2 Colonial players highlighted by #58 apparently using his helmet as a weapon and head-butting the defenseless Trojan.
Let’s not mince words because this incident took place on a football field; this was a violent crime on a defenseless minor.
I have analyzed the 15-second video clip of the assault like it was the Zapruder film and have made several observations on what took place.
HHS RB #22 took a handoff and ran to the right side of the line of scrimmage and was taken to the ground by a gang of Colonials. Upon being taken to the ground, #22’s helmet was removed by a Colonial who was finishing the tackle, and therefore the helmet coming off was a result of a “football play.”
On his back with 3 Colonials surrounding him, #22 put up his arms in defense realizing he was without head protection. At that moment AG #29 seemingly saw an opportunity to invoke physical pain and took advantage of it. With a referee within an arm’s length, #29 was able to shake #22 violently, slamming his head into the ground twice and throwing a punch before #72 of the Trojans stepped in and pulled him off the victim.
As #29 was being removed, #58 of AG body slammed the helpless Trojan, crushing his torso into the turf then using his helmet as a weapon, repeatedly head-butting #22 in the face.
The referee nearest to the melee was within arm’s length of the initial pile and completely failed in his responsibility to ensure player safety was a top priority. He simply froze in the moment and refused to intervene with any kind of physical interaction. It appeared he was more concerned about his physical well-being than the young man who was being brutally beaten.
Several folks have given the officiating crew a pass on the incident, giving them the benefit of the doubt because they were caught off guard by this horrific display of violence.
Not me. No free parking here in Carroll’s Corner. Go directly to jail, do not pass go, do not collect $200.
Their failure to act with any type of courage or urgency has left a young man to sit in darkness for days due to a brain injury that causes severe sensitivity to light.
After showing the video clip to several officials, they agreed with me and were shocked the officials did not act appropriately or with any kind of haste.
In 2020 Albert Gallatin is scheduled to journey to Hampshire County as the 2 teams signed a 2-year contract for a home-and-home series. In my books, that contract went null and void the instant a Colonial player clenched his fist and buried it into a helpless Hampshire player.
Then the agreement went through a shredder and tossed into a campfire with each blow from the Colonial helmet.
I don’t care about the circumstances, conditions, or whatever contract penalties might be incurred. That kind of crap is irrelevant.
I don’t welcome thugs into my home. Allowing the Colonials to step foot in West Virginia’s oldest county is a slap in the face of sportsmanship, morals, ethics and values. Get rid of the game; there is no debate.
Removing AG from the schedule would mean HHS needs to pick up another AAA opponent to remain playoff eligible in 2020, but that’s a risk we all should be willing to take.
Let’s get a traditional opponent back on the schedule. Hey, Hedgesville, you guys are 0-7 this year; how about you drop Fort Hill and we kick AG to the curb? Deal? Done. o