The incident was captured on video and posted online by local media. The referee is shown walking near the edge of the field during the game’s second half. When the cannon is set off, he immediately grabs his head and collapses to the ground.
The school said in a statement that the cannon, owned and operated by an alumnus, “was fired from outside the fence behind the end zone. One of the game officials was proceeding along the end line when the cannon was fired and was struck by packing material from the cannon. The Academy’s president has directed that these devices will no longer be permitted on campus for future events.”
The sheriff’s office said an investigation into the incident will be referred to the district attorney’s office pending potential criminal charges.
Maine Maritime Academy lost the game to Massachusetts Maritime Academy, 42-21, according to the school’s website.