Pa. player may face criminal charges after ripping helmet off foe and beating him with it

A horrific in-game incident during a Pennsylvania football game could lead to criminal charges after a player ripped the helmet off one of his opponents during a scuffle and proceeded to beat his fellow teenager with it.

As reported by Susquehanna Valley NBC affiliate WGAL and PennLive, among other sources, Hamburg (Pa.) High senior quarterback and safety Joey Cominsky ripped the helmet off of Annville-Cleona lineman Josh Hartmann during an on-field skirmish between the two squads. What happened next was horrifying, as Cominsky raised the helmet and began to strike Hartmann in the head with the piece of sporting equipment.

The disturbing incident was captured on video and local police have launched an investigation into the attack, with a view toward pursuing charges against the Hamburg teenager.

"The police are doing their investigation, and that’s where it stands at this point," Annville-Cleona athletic director Tommy Long told PennLive. "That’s about all I can tell you.

"It's always disappointing when you see something like this. You certainly don't want to see a situation like this within the lines of a game -- football, basketball, wrestling, whatever."

Both Cominsky and Annville-Cleona player Taylor Prentice, who belatedly entered the fray to break apart Cominsky and Hartmann -- were immediately ejected from the remainder of the game for their part in the fracas, with Hamburg holding on for a 25-22 win, overcoming a fierce comeback by Annville-Cleona after Cominsky was ejected.

Annville-Cleona coach Terry Lehman said that Hartmann avoided significant injury during the helmet attack, though he did have a scalp laceration that required him to miss some game time. He later returned to the contest. In a silver lining, Lehman said that the sordid ordeal may have even helped his team learn to play together more effectively.

"The Hamburg kid kinda flipped out and took the scrum to a completely different level," Lehman told PennLive. "Our kid is OK.

"I will say this. Our kids really made a positive out of a very horrible negative. They really hung in there, came back and played as a team."

Want more on the best stories in high school sports? Connect with Prep Rally on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.