Albuquerque TV station KOB reports the teen was hit at about 5 p.m. Tuesday at Picacho Middle School in Las Cruces.
Jo Galvan, Communications Director at Las Cruces Public School, told local news station KVIA that the team was in process of heading for shelter when the lightning hit: "From what a couple coaches told me, they had already made their decision to head back in because it was sprinkling, and immediately all of a sudden there's a flash of lightning."
"It was gross," football player Emiliano Frano told the station. "I never smelled anything like that."
Las Cruces police say the boy was rushed to MountainView Regional Medical Center in critical condition. According to KOB, his condition has since stabilized.
Six people total were injured in the strike, three of whom – two additional players and a coach – were sent to the hospital. Police say all three were conscious and responsive.
Authorities didn't immediately release the name of the teen or the other people.
– The Associated Press contributed reporting
Paul Drinkwater / NBC / NBCU Photo Bank / Getty; Courtesy of Scott Porter