BRENTWOOD -- A teenager was airlifted to the hospital after he was injured Thursday night during a high school football game in Brentwood.

The incident happened at Liberty High School during a freshman game against Heritage High School.

The 14-year-old boy, an offensive lineman for Heritage, stumbled toward the sideline after a play and appeared disoriented when assessed by training staff and coaches, according to Heritage varsity football coach Don Sanders.

"As far as I know, he was never unconscious, but he was unresponsive," Sanders said. "He wasn't able to answer some questions. ... The decision was made to call the ambulance to be safe."

The boy was admitted to Oakland Children's Hospital on Thursday night and was still there Friday but was expected to be discharged soon, Sanders said.

"The reports I'm getting are that he is doing much better, and they are still trying to determine what caused it, but that it doesn't appear long term, that he's going to be OK."

Sanders said he couldn't be certain whether the boy suffered head trauma or whether he was "hit funny" but stressed that the school is "very good at keeping kids hydrated and monitoring that, so I don't think dehydration was the problem."

Heritage Athletic Director Pat Cruickshank said Friday the boy was alert and had a normal appetite at the hospital.


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"He should be discharged shortly if some more tests go well," Cruickshank said.

Cruickshank said he believes the injury stemmed from a blow to the head, but he could not be sure. He said the freshman football coach planned to review game film to see whether he could spot what happened.

"No one saw a real big hit on the play," Cruickshank said.

Sanders said training staff immediately laid the boy on the sideline and that he appeared to regain normal cognitive performance before the helicopter arrived to take him to the hospital.

"No one was going to take any chances," he said.

The game ended in a 19-14 victory for Heritage.

"It was one of those games where someone has to win at some point," Cruickshank said. "It wasn't a victory where anyone was really jubilant."

Contact Robert Rogers at 510-262-2726. Follow him at Twitter.com/SFBaynewsrogers.