Michael Moreno and Victor Rojas expressed regret for blindsiding football referee Robert Watts on Good Morning America

By Maria Coder
Updated September 18, 2015 11:20 AM
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ABC Breaking News Latest News VideosTwo high school football players in Texas who were suspended from their team and their school after appearing to intentionally target a referee for a violent on-field hit during a game told Good Morning America they were just following orders. Both added that they wish they could take it back.

Speaking for the first time since the Sept. 4 incident, the teenagers from John Jay High School in San Antonio said it was assistant coach Mack Breed who instructed them to collide with unsuspecting referee Robert Watts. The teenagers have alleged that Watts used a racial slur and made poor calls, but Watts’s lawyer disputed the accusation to ABC News through his attorney, the show said.

“You put your trust into this grown-up, this guardian, your coach, who’s been there for me … I trust him. I did what I was told,” Michael Moreno told the show.

The teen claimed the coach pulled Moreno and another player aside and told them, “You need to hit the ref. He needs to pay the price,” Moreno said.

Moreno then said he relayed the message to teammate Victor Rojas, and together the two defensive players followed through with the plan.

Breed is currently on paid leave. He has not yet commented on the allegations.

The two teens, however, had some things they wanted to get off their chests.

“I would apologize for the mistake that I made,” Rojas said.

Moreno said, “I am greatly sorry for this and I regret it greatly. I just hope people can change their minds about us.” He added, “Underneath the helmet and the pads, I’m a great kid. School is my first priority. I aspire to be an aerospace engineer.”

Next Wednesday, the school district will hold a hearing to decide the consequences for the teens. Their lawyer, Jesse Hernandez, believes they have already been sufficiently punished.

“They apologized, they’re sorry. They didn’t mean to do this,” Hernandez said.

Officials with the Northside Independent School District plan to file a formal complaint against Watts.

Watts is considering legal action against the players, Good Morning America reports.

The teens could still face criminal charges as police in Marble Falls, Texas, where the game took place, continue with their investigation.

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