AUGUSTA — Kyle Armstrong was keeping cool tossing a football in a friend’s pool Wednesday night when he suffered a seizure and collapsed.

His two friends, Devon O’Connor and Elias Younes, football teammates at Cony High School, kept his head above water, called 911 and got him out of the pool.

“My whole family is grateful because they literally saved my life,” said Armstrong, 16, a junior. “If they hadn’t gotten me out of that pool, I don’t know how I would have gotten out myself. I can’t thank them enough.”

The three returned poolside at O’Connor’s Augusta home Thursday afternoon and Younes, a senior, and O’Connor, a junior, excitedly recounted the events for Armstrong and his mother, Donna.

“I was in the pool and walking along the side,” Kyle Armstrong said. “That’s all I remember.”

Younes said Armstrong seemed to be dozing off and on.

“I thought he was tired,” Younes said.

As they went to switch sides in the pool, Armstrong was halfway down the slope to the deep end when he let out a very loud yell, tensed up, and then curled into a ball, sinking to the bottom.

“I dove in, picked him up and held his head above water,” Younes said. O’Connor came from the other end of the pool and grabbed onto Armstrong so Younes could get to a phone and call for help.

Then they lifted the 5-foot-10-inch, 160-pound Armstrong out of the pool, trying to avoid hitting his head on the side of it, and laying him on the concrete pool deck, a towel under his head and another over him.

“I was trying to tap him on the cheek to wake him up,” O’Connor said. While neither rescuer knew Armstrong had had two previous seizures – the latest in October – O’Connor said he recognized some of the sounds and symptoms.

O’Connor said the two responded “on instinct and adrenalin.”

He said the whole incident probably took eight to 10 minutes, but Younes said, “It felt like an hour.”

As the seizure ended, the Augusta police dispatcher told them to get Armstrong to a chair. They did so, and he was able to phone home and reach his parents, who live nearby.

“They did the work and they saved my boy,” Donna Armstrong said Thursday, alternating between smiling at her son and looking horrified as she listened.

Donna and Terry Armstrong took their son to the hospital to be checked out. The reason for the seizures has not been determined.

On Thursday, Kyle Armstrong’s neurologist increased his anti-seizure medication and sent him off with an admonition to avoid swimming alone.

Betty Adams can be contacted at 621-5631 or at [email protected]

Twitter: @betadams