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High school football player dies after scoring back-to-back touchdowns

Posted at 12:37 PM, Nov 05, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-05 12:37:47-05

SHARON SPRINGS, Kansas -- Luke Schemm, 17, scored "back-to-back touchdowns" in a playoff game Tuesday night for his Wallace County High School team. On the final play, he was tackled, ran to the sidelines and collapsed, his father, David Schemm, said Wednesday.

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"We do not know exactly other than on the final play of when he was in for the two-point conversion, that he was tackled right before he went into the end zone," Schemm said. "And at that point he ran to the sidelines and collapsed. So after the play was finished, he was still conscious when he was running to the sideline, before he collapsed."

Schemm suffered a traumatic brain injury, "causing it to swell and shut off blood flow to the brain," his father wrote in a Facebook post.

Just Monday, Luke Schemm shared with his family where he had decided to attend college.

"There was a lot of excitement and anticipation around where Luke would go to college," his father recounted. "He shared with us that he decided to join his brother Clay at Kansas State University next fall."

David Schemm was traveling for meetings Tuesday and was unable to make the playoff game in person, but was able to stream it.

"The last thing I did to him before I left ... and I still give my boys when I see them ... is a kiss on the forehead and I tell them 'I love them' before they go to bed, and I ask every parent out there to do the same to their children, too."

Dr. Brooke Pengel, medical director at Rocky Mountain Youth Sports Medicine and Center for Concussion, said players like Luke who experience a delayed reaction to severe head trauma tend to suffer from brain bleeding that accumulates, sometimes because of a big hit, other times because of a hit that comes before the player has recovered from a previous concussion.

"In the youth population that can result in something called second impact syndrome," Pengel told KDVR. "Which can result in fatal brain swelling and death."

With an entire community now in mourning, Luke's father said he wouldn't have dreamed of stopping his son from giving his all and he said he hopes his teammates continue to play in his honor.

"We are glad that our children don't hold back, but rather, put themselves out there fully," David Schemm said. "Life without risk is no life at all."

CNN Wire contributed to this report.