Two Laurel High School football players were charged with attempted rape yesterday after allegedly pulling two 13-year-old girls into the boys' locker room in the school and assaulting them, police said.

The incident happened at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, after school and football practice had ended for the day, said Laurel police spokesman Jim Collins.

The suspects, 14-year-old freshmen who play for the junior varsity team, were charged with assault, sex offense, attempted rape and false imprisonment. The boys, whose names were not released, were charged as juveniles.

The girls, also freshmen, reported the incident to school security officers yesterday morning, and the boys were arrested shortly afterward, police said.

According to the account the girls gave police, the incident began as they were walking through the hallway by the boys' locker room to wait for a friend on the team.

Both of the suspects opened the locker room door and yanked one of the girls inside, police said. They allegedly held her, sexually assaulted her and attempted to rape her before she was able to break free, police said.

The girl and one of the suspects then ran away. The second suspect opened the locker room door, saw the second girl still standing there and pulled her inside, police said. He allegedly assaulted her in the same way, before she ran away.

Collins said the second girl did not run away with the first because she likely did not know what had happened.

The suspects were being held yesterday at the Laurel police station and were expected to be transferred to a juvenile facility last night.

Police are investigating the incident but believe it was an isolated occurrence at the school, Collins said. He said they are beefing up patrols in the area, at least temporarily.

School Principal Dwayne Jones sent a letter home with students yesterday explaining what had happened and encouraged parents to contact the school if they have further questions, said Prince George's schools spokesman John White.

He applauded the girls for turning to the school security officers, who are provided by county police.

"The girls, when they came into school this morning, they did a great thing, which is report it" to security officers, White said. "It's their job to be there when students need a place to turn."

The security officers were not on the grounds when the incident occurred because it was after school hours, but White said other staff on the campus would have served a security function at that time.

Staff writer Nick Anderson contributed to this report.