ABC News(EUCLID, Ohio) — The Ohio high school football player whose death came two days after he suffered a game-related injury died of peritonitis, or inflammation of the abdominal cavity lining, which resulted from a small-bowel laceration caused by blunt impact to his abdomen, the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner said.
Andre Jackson’s autopsy was performed Tuesday, as video emerged showing his collision with an opposing team member in a game last week.
In the video, Jackson, visible by his No. 48 jersey, can be seen attempting to retrieve the ball before he appears to be unintentionally kicked in his abdomen by a member of the Solon High School football team. The opposing player tumbles forward after coming into contact with Jackson.
Jackson, 17, died Sunday, two days after being injured during Friday night’s game against Solon High School, district officials announced that day. His head football coach, Jeff Rotsky, told ABC Cleveland affiliate WEWS-TV that Jackson was injured during a “pooch kick” when both he and another player were going for the ball.
Rotsky said he thinks Jackson either got “kicked or kneed” during the “pooch kick,” a low, short kickoff that tends to bounce on the ground before the receiving team picks it up. He called the special teams play “completely normal.”
After Jackson was injured in the play, he went to the hospital and was later released, the Solon City School District confirmed with ABC News. That district released the game video.
Jackson, a junior at Euclid High School, played fullback and outside linebacker for the school, according to WEWS-TV.
In a statement, Euclid High School called Jackson a “hardworking student athlete” who “brought smiles to all those with whom he came in contact.”
Rotsky said that Jackson “deserved so much more, adding that “a day won’t go by” that he won’t think about his smile.
“He was what you want to see out of a young man who wanted more out of life,” Rotsky said.
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