Football official who was targeted by Texas players breaks silence is a partner of USA TODAY High School Sports

The high school football official seemingly targeted by two San Antonio John Jay football players has broken his silence to’s Ronald Oswalt.

The official was identified by the Austin American Statesman as Robert Watts, a 14-year veteran.

“I like to keep my officiating quiet; unfortunately this will be big news,” he said. “Libel and slander have already been committed against me. I will be contacting the appropriate people soon and any statement from me will come at a later date.”

It is unclear what recourse Watts intends to take.

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Watts was knocked down by one player in the fourth quarter of the game at Marble Falls and then another player jumped on him.

As soon as No. 12 knocked him down, No. 81— strong safety opposite of No. 12 — barreled into the official as he laid there on the turf. As soon as the play ended, and the referee gathered himself, he ejected No. 12, but ejected No. 7, who had not been involved in the hits on the official, but came over to him after the play. No. 81, who was the second player to hit the referee remained in the game.

Two John Jay players had previously been ejected for trash talking, according to reports.

Also Monday, the Marble Falls Police Department announced that it was opening an investigation and hoped to have a resolution determined within a week. No arrests have been made at this point.

With school back in session Tuesday, the Northside ISD is expected to begin a “due process hearing,” according to district spokesman Pascual Gonzales.

The players have been suspended from the team and school.

“We will handle this incident on Tuesday morning and schedule a due process hearing which will include formal interviews with coaching staffing , the students themselves and other athletes, anyone who has knowledge of whatever was seen. The bottom line is, Northside will not tolerate this type of behavior. It does appear the athletes intentionally tackled the referee, but we have not confirmed it.”

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