Evan Murray, who gave a brave thumbs up to his Warren Hills Regional High School teammates as he was lifted to a gurney right before halftime against Summit High School, was taken to Morristown Medical Center and died a short time later.
The results of the autopsy performed on Saturday came back as cause of death being “massive intra-abdominal hemorrhage due to laceration of the spleen,” according to a statement from the Morris County medical examiner’s office.
The medical finding was released Monday afternoon through the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association.
The spleen of the 6-foot-2, 190-pound three-sport star was slightly enlarged, making him vulnerable to possible injuries, said Doctor Ronald Suarez, who conducted the autopsy.
“During the examination, Dr. Suarez determined that the spleen was abnormally enlarged thus making it more susceptible to injury. There was no evidence of head trauma or heart disease,” the report said.
“The manner of death was accidental,” it concluded.
Warren Hills officials have not said how Murray was hurt. Teammates say he had taken a couple of hard hits late in the first half, including a helmet to the stomach.
"The last play before the half, he got hit and we helped him to the sideline," senior tackle Oscar Vega said.
His teammates went ahead with the game — only to learn that the popular team leader died afterwards.