A Pennsylvania high school quarterback is in critical condition after he collapsed on the field during a game Friday night moments after being hit.
Mason Martin, 17, has been left fighting for his life in hospital after suffering a significant brain bleed and collapsed lung, his family said.
Referee Mike Vasbinder stopped the game between Karns City High School and Redbank Valley on Friday after he noticed Martin staggering, according to the Butler Eagle.
During the third quarter of Friday night’s game, Martin was involved in a hit and had continued to play defense without issue before leaving the field for the extra point.
He returned to the field for the return kickoff but before play started, Martin was seen staggering and wobbling. Referee Vasbinder blew his whistle as Martin collapsed.
A high school football game was suspended after quarterback Mason Martin collapsed
High school senior Mason Martin, 17, suffered a ‘significant brain bleed’ and a collapsed lung
Friends and family of Martin held a vigil outside UPMC Presbyterian on Saturday
The stadium went silent as Karns City’s players and coaches took the knee and began to pray while Martin was tended to.
‘I had to talk to him, and when I asked if he was alright, he told me, ‘no,” Vasbinder said. ‘So that’s when I knew something was wrong.’
Martin was taken off the field in an ambulance before being flown to UMPC Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh.
Following the scary scenes, officials called off the game with Redbank Valley determined the winner with a 35-6 lead.
Martin’s family told KDKA-TV that he had suffered a ‘significant brain bleed as well as a collapsed lung.’
His mother Stacy King Martin, who had been diagnosed with cancer, shared an updated from the family on her social media.
‘Mason remains in critical condition with little change over the last 36 hours,’ the message on Sunday read. ‘The truth is we need a miracle. I’m not saying that to sound grim, but to let you know that we need the strength of your prayers.
‘No one believes in this kid more than us, but he needs everyone’s strength and prayers. Right now, we have to wait for the swelling to go down to assess the extent of the damage to the brain.’
The statement was signed off with Martin’s reported favorite bible verse, Jeremiah 29:11.
The quarterback has the verse tattooed on his right thigh, which reads: ‘For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’
Friends and family held a vigil for Martin outside the hospital Saturday night, according to KDKA.
Players from both teams took the knee while Martin was tended to following the scary scenes
Referee Mike Vasbinder took the decision to suspend the game after conferring with coaches
Karns City’s football team shared an update from the signal caller’s mother, Stacy King Martin’s social media
They gathered outside UPMC Presbyterian with signs that read, ‘Mason strong,’ in Karns City’s colors, purple and yellow.
Brittany Thompson, a spectator who was there with her daughter, told the Butler eagle that the incident was reminiscent of Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin’s on-field collapse during an NFL Week 17 game on January 2.
Hamlin, 25, suffered cardiac arrest and had to be resuscitated on the field after a hit from Cincinnati Bengals’ Tee Higgins. The NFL star has since made a miraculous recovery and is set to make his regular season comeback.
‘We’re not from this school district, but my daughter wanted to come to the game,’ Thompson said. ‘It’s just really scary.’
Redbank Valley coach Blane Gold reportedly conferred with Vasbinder and the other officials and they took the decision to suspend the game.
‘The Redbank Valley coach was excellent,’ Vasbinder told d9sports.com. ‘He said, ‘I don’t want to do anything to show any disrespect.’
Redbank Valley players were also left in shock with members of the team and some cheerleaders also kneeling in prayer.
‘Obviously the NFL world was shocked by it last year,’ Gold told d9sports.com. ‘You see the way it ended with Mr. Hamlin, so we’re praying the same thing is going to happen for Mason Martin as well. We’re going to pray he is able to recover in the same positive fashion and he’s gonna be able to do whatever he wants to do.’
Karns City Superintendent Eric Ritzert announced that a prayer vigil would be held for the senior at 7pm Sunday night at the Stadium.