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Video: HS player scores TD, praises the ejected

Tuesday Update: The governing body in Arizona, the AIA has agreed with the player & high school in their appeal and the ejection has been overturned. Banda is now allowed to play going forward. The AIA ruled that there was no excessive celebration.

Original story:


"My intentions were to praise God last night. I didn't think it would result in an ejection for praising my lord & savior." - Pedro Banda

Banda, a senior at Dysart High School in Arizona, scored a touchdown last night. As you can see in the video below, Banda walks away from other players, raises his hand to the sky and says something (which, based on his tweet, seemingly was his attempt to give glory to his lord). The result... ejection. What?

I reached out to a couple of college coaches in Arizona to ask if there is a specific rule in Arizona high school football outlawing any sort of action like this and no one was sure what rule this could have tripped. One coach suggested that perhaps the referee ruled that this was excessive celebration. Really?

Watch the video closely. There are no opposing players anywhere near him. This wasn't taunting. I can't imagine how this is excessive celebration either. Any thoughts?