“This is disturbing,” said the official statement from the Northside Independent School District just north of San Antonio. Shocking is more like it. Police are investigating the apparently intentional attack on a football ref by two John Jay High School football players under the Friday night lights as a possible assault. The two players have been suspended from school as well.

They’re calling it a blindside attack but really it was backside. The back judge was watching a play unfold on the field with about a minute left in John Jay’s losing game against Marble Falls High School when a defensive back to his rear ran full speed at the ref and slammed him to the ground, crushing him to the turf and causing his head to snap back.

This wasn’t done in a fog of confusion; not one of those things where an official gets lost in the crowd. There was no crowd, no players, no nothing, except a few yards of open field, between the attacking player and the official with his back turned.

A second later, with the ref on the ground, another player dove into the downed man helmet-first, according to MySA.

“I’ve coached 14 years and I’ve never seen anything like it,” the Marble Falls coach Matt Green said.

“The question of what instigated that is what we’re trying to figure out,” Northside ISD athletic director Stan Laing said.

The referee was “very upset” and “wanting to press charges,” Austin Football Officials Association secretary Wayne Elliott said.

“The first thing we want is that those two kids never play football again,” Austin Football Officials Association secretary Wayne Elliott said, according to ESPN. He declined to release the referee’s name and added he was seeking guidance from the state officials association.

Even the NFL Referees Association felt compelled to comment:

“These types of actions against any game official at any level are inexcusable,” said a statement by association executive director Jim Quirk. “We fully support the suspensions of the players involved, along with a full and complete investigation by the Texas University Interscholastic League (UIL).”

Reportedly, Marble Falls, leading 15-9, had possession of the ball and was running down the clock, a totally routine tactic.

ICYMI, here’s another video that slows down the action.