COLTON, Calif. (KABC) --A high school football player remained hospitalized Sunday after being critically injured during a game in Hesperia.
Bruce Henderson, a player (No. 29) for Sultana High School, suffered a head-to-head blow with 52 seconds left in the fourth quarter as the Sultans were taking on the Norte Vista High School Braves, according to a YouCaring page.
In just two games this year, the defensive lineman has racked an impressive 29 tackles. His coach Keith Locklear said the incident happened when Henderson made a tackle. Even after that incident, Henderson managed to walk off the field.
"Our trainer just went through some concussion protocol with him. He seemed to respond OK, but then at that point the severity of the injury really took effect," he said.
That's when the 16-year-old was rushed to a local hospital, then flown to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center for emergency surgery to stop the bleeding and swelling on his brain.
The high desert community has rallied together to support the fallen football player. At the high school on Monday, many parents from other schools stopped by to deliver gift cards and well-wishes.
The Sultana High School Booster Club has also set up the YouCaring fundraising page to help the Henderson family.
Three days after the injury, there are hopeful signs. Locklear said Henderson is breathing on his own, has squeezed a hand, opened his eyes and given a thumbs-up when asked questions.
A daylong fundraiser to help pay for Henderson's medical expenses is scheduled for Wednesday at a pizza restaurant in Hesperia.