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American Patriots have two players airlifted during game vs. Braddock with head injuries

Two high school football players from American High were airlifted to the Jackson Memorial Hospital Ryder Trauma Center Thursday night after suffering head injuries during a game against Braddock at Tropical Park.

Athletic director Marcus Gabriel said senior defensive backs Larry Hope, a player verbally committed to the University of Miami, and Roderick Carter were the two injured players. He said he believed neither injury was life-threating and the players were airlifted because the injuries were to their heads. Gabriel said both players were accompanied by their parents.

Hope was airlifted first with what Gabriel described as a deep, six-inch gash that ran from the left side of his face to back of his head.

"It happened in the beginning of the second quarter," Gabriel said. "I didn't see exactly what happened, but he ended up making the tackle without his helmet and unfortunately he was cut by another players helmet. There was a lot of blood. The cut looked like a Nike Swoosh. He was alert, calling for his dad, just gashed up pretty good."

Gabriel said Carter was hurt with 8:08 to play in the fourth quarter. After making a tackle, Gabriel said Carter fell back down to the ground and was complaining of neck pain. But according to Gabriel, Carter was moving both his arms and his legs.

"Roderick was able to push off with both hands and his legs," Gabriel said. "He was complaining about chest and neck pains. But they wanted to take him for precautionary reasons."

American led 14-0 when Hope was injured. Gabriel said officials decided to call the game after Carter's injury. Braddock was leading 40-21.

"After Larry left, our team just went down and went completely flat," Gabriel said. "Braddock kept playing football and we weren't in the game. We decided to call the game so nobody else would get hurt."