Trotwood-Madison High School junior Carl Blanton dribbles the basketball up the floor during the Division II state championship game against Columbus South on Saturday afternoon at Ohio State University's Jerome Schottenstein Center.
Both Trotwood and Northmont teams were huddled on field following Trotwood's 20-14 win that wasn't secured until the final seconds. Blanton Jr. collapsed and apparently went into cardiac arrest on the field as the team broke from a postgame huddle.
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Coaches and players from both teams looked on in shock as Premier Health physicians and trainers worked on Blanton. That included Trotwood’s Dr. James Klosterman and trainer C.J. Briggerman and Northmont’s Dr. Michael Barrow and trainer Eric Newman and many other assistants.
It appeared an automated external defibrillator (AED) was applied to Blanton prior to the life rescue squad’s arrival. Russo confirmed both teams had portable units on their respective sidelines. Although not required, the Ohio High School Athletic Association encourages all schools to have AED’s readily available, especially at sports events.
Blanton was conscious while removed by the Trotwood-Madison Fire Department to Children’s Hospital.
Among the onlookers was Blanton’s father, Trotwood assistant boys basketball coach Carl Blanton Sr.
“It’s a tough one,” said a glum Trotwood coach Jeff Graham on Friday night. “We really don’t know exactly everything that went on. We know his pulse is doing well and he’s responsive, so that’s good. That’s a life-changing aspect. Football games, you can win and lose, you learn from, you gather yourself. That’s a learning experience for us all.”
Blanton apparently was unaffected during the game. He had three catches for 32 yards. Defensively, he had five tackles and an interception.
None of the attending medical personnel would comment. A spokesperson for Children’s would not confirm if Blanton had been a patient there.