SJ teen injured in annual 'Big Bone' football game


Sixteen-year-old Matt Blea underwent surgery for a fractured skull and remains in intensive care.

Blea was injured Thursday morning during the 66th annual Big Bone game the two schools.

Blea, a junior, was trying to catch the ball when a player from the other team knocked him down during a play in the first quarter. Blea got up, but was very unsteady. As he made his way to the side lines, he suddenly collapsed. He was quickly surrounded by coaches and players.

San Jose High Academy Head Coach Jason Pierce says Blea was in and out of consciousness on the field, and suffered a fractured skull, which included some internal bleeding.

"I knew that he was, I knew something was wrong," Pierce said. "He wasn't responding, we just kept on talking to him, we wanted to keep him up, keep him alert, his eyes weren't moving, he wasn't moving any of extremities, his arms or legs, but he was squeezing his father's arm, his hand, and his mother's hand. He's a fighter, you can definitely tell he's a fighter, but I was scared, it's just one of those scary moments; I don't like to see anybody in those situations."

Blea is considered a strong player and a team leader. His family is at his side and coaches and teammates have been stopping by the hospital throughout the afternoon and evening. The game continued after the incident. San Jose High Academy lost to Lincoln 36 to 18.

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