Coach suspended after players' blindside hit on referee

An assistant coach has been suspended and legal action could be pending in the wake of an ugly incident during a Texas high school football game in which two players deliberately targeted a referee.

Video shows two players from John Jay High School, senior Mike Moreno and sophomore Victor Rojas, deliberately hitting back judge Robert Watts in the closing minutes of a game against Marble Falls.

Earlier in the game, two John Jay players were ejected after throwing punches, according to the San Antonio Express-News.

An investigation by the Northside Independent School District resulted in the suspension of assistant coach Mack Breed for allegedly saying, "That guy needs to pay for cheating us," referring to the referee.

"All of us are heartbroken over the situation that occurred at the game Friday night between John Jay and Marble Falls," Brian. T. Woods, superintendent of schools, said in announcing the investigation. "The incident is shameful and in no way reflects who Northside ISD and Jay High School are. There are almost 3,000 students who attend Jay HS, a school that has a long rich history which is well earned."

The fallout from the case is proceeding on other fronts. The NISD is also investigating the players' allegations that the referee used racial slurs. Watts, a 14-year refereeing veteran, countered that he is considering his own legal options.

“I like to keep my officiating quiet; unfortunately this will be big news," he told TexasHSFootball.com. “Libel and slander have already been committed against me. I will be contacting the appropriate people soon and any statement from me will come at a later date."

Local police are collecting findings to present to the Burnet County prosecutor, who will determine whether to proceed with charges against the players.

"We're very early in it," Sgt. Tom Dillard of the Marble Falls Police Department told Yahoo Sports. "We have had a preliminary interview with the referee. We have spoken to the prosecuting attorney who is receptive to the idea of filing charges if the investigation bears that out. We will be conducting the investigation over the next week or two. It could take that long. At the end of that we will present our findings to the prosecutor who will make the ultimate decision on charging or not."

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Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at jay.busbee@yahoo.com or find him on Twitter.

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