Ohio high school player head-butts official in head during season opener, game cut short

A player reportedly whipped off his helmet and charged at an official during a season opener in Ohio on Saturday after a flag was thrown on the play. (Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)

A high school football game in Ohio was cut short on Saturday after a player head-butted an official in the head before halftime, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Midway through the second quarter of Roger Bacon High School’s season-opener against Dayton Dunbar High, Roger Bacon was driving down the field when a penalty was called.

Suddenly, a Dunbar player could be seen on the game broadcast head-butting an official — sending him flying backward. Per the report, that player then had to be restrained from chasing another official as multiple other flags were thrown.

Roger Bacon had already grabbed a 23-8 lead at that time, and kicked off the game with an 86-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.

“The penalty that made the kid mad was their 12th penalty already,” Roger Bacon coach Mike Blaut said, via the Cincinnati Enquirer. “They were marking off the ball, half the distance to the goal line, and that's when he went right after the referee and head-butted him. He hit him on the right side of his head.”

The player, who was not named in the report, ripped off his helmet before hitting the official, Blaut said.

“I just saw them scuffling,” Blaut said. “I yelled for my kids to get off the field because their sideline was getting out of control.”

Once things had calmed down, officials spoke with both coaches and athletic directors and ended the game, handing Roger Bacon the win.

“Our kids were really disappointed, especially my seniors," Blaut said. “My son's on the team. His first response was, ‘They just took a game away from my senior year.’ At the end of the day, we end up with the victory, so it's all good.”

Per the report, Dayton Public Schools are currently on probation by the Ohio High School Athletic Association through June 2020 — and Dunbar through 2022 for a 2016 incident where a student intentionally tried to lose a game. The school, per the report, was also banned from the boys state basketball tournament after a player left the bench during an incident.

Both the school district and the OHSAA have launched investigations into the incident on Saturday.

“The Dayton Public Schools are dealing with the student who chose to behave in a manner unbecoming of DPS athletes,” district superintendent Elizabeth Lolli said in a statement. “The Dayton Public School District extends a sincere apology to the referee involved in the incident, as well as the Roger Bacon and Dunbar athletes, referees, coaches, parents and spectators who were not able to play in or watch the event.”

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