Hopi football player died of blunt force trauma

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

POLACCA, Ariz. (AP) -- A Hopi High School football player who scored his team's only touchdown in a state playoff game died of blunt force trauma to his head.

That's the determination of the Maricopa County Office of the Medical Examiner. The cause of Charles Youvella's death is listed as accidental.

The Hopi Bruins lost the playoff game against Arizona Lutheran Academy, 60-6 on Nov. 9.

The 17-year-old Youvella fell hard on his head and collapsed during the fourth quarter of the game. He was taken to a Phoenix hospital where he died.

The Arizona Interscholastic Association has said he died of a traumatic brain injury.

The medical examiner's office said Thursday that the full autopsy report is not yet complete.

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