Tragedy strikes at Indiana football game as player’s father dies in stands

Cameron Smith
Prep Rally

An Indiana high school football playoff game featured the collapse of two different adults, one of whom died shortly thereafter.

As reported by South Bend NBC affiliate WNDU and Indiana Fox affiliate WSJV, the tragedy unfolded in Carmel, Ind., where Carmel High was facing off against Penn High (Mishawaka) in the semi-state round of the Indiana Class 6A playoffs. In the fourth quarter of Carmel’s 28-13 victory, Eric Paschall, the father of star Carmel running back Shakir Paschall, collapsed in the stands after a medical incident believed to be a sudden heart attack. The elder Paschall was transported to an area hospital and died shortly thereafter.

While Eric Paschall was being taken out of the stadium and rushed to a hospital, his son was taking over the game, scoring a final game-clinching touchdown to ensure that Carmel would advance. The younger Paschall had no idea his father had died until after the game was over.

"He had an unbelievable 4th quarter," Carmel football coach Kevin Wright told WNDU. "He scored the last touchdown and just like he told me, 'my dad passed doing what he loved the most — watching me play.' That's hard. I mean that's hard to take."

Paschall’s collapse was the second of the game, following a second quarter incident where the game’s head official and referee Joe Calderazzo collapsed just before a snap. The referee was immediately attended to by EMTs and team trainers, who were able to resuscitate Calderazzo and safely transport him to a nearby hospital.

According to WNDU, Calderazzo underwent triple bypass surgery and is in recovery.

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Cameron Smith is the editor of Prep Rally on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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