The minute the crowd saw the hit, they knew something was wrong.
In a clip exclusive to PEOPLE from the upcoming season 4 premiere of Esquire’s docuseries Friday Night Tykes, 11-year-old Erik Cavallin is taken away in an ambulance after taking a brutal hit on the field.
“He’s having a seizure,” Texas Storm coach and president Lori Hurt screams as she rushes out onto the field to Erik. Gordon Cavallin, Erik’s father and the team’s assistant coach, is just steps behind her.
“It was dirty,” Texas Storm parent Aprill Evert says of the “head shot” that took Erik down. “And then nothing even got called … the ref stood there and watched it.”
But even as Erik lies shaking on the ground, Chris Davis, the opposing team’s president and commissioner of the Texas Youth Football Association, defends the play.
“He got a mean hit, without a doubt — a nice, mean, clean hit,” he says. “But that’s the football game.”
After Erik is driven off the field in an ambulance, a coach from the opposing team leads the players of both teams in a prayer.
“We ask, Lord, that you would be with the player that is leaving the field right now, Lord. Heal him where he may have fallen short, Lord.”
The opposing team’s head coach, Corey Jefferson, knows that many people think football is a “violent” sport, but he feels otherwise.
“Violence is something you do intentionally to hurt somebody,” he says. “Nobody went out there and said, ‘Hey, knock him out.’ We don’t do that. We just go out there and play aggressive football every day.”
Season 4 of Friday Night Tykes premieres Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET.