For many high school football players, especially seniors, the homecoming game is a special moment growing up. It's a shame Peoria High School (AZ) senior wide receiver Cameron Torres wasn't going to have an opportunity to play in his last one.
The only problem was the referee thought he was taunting the opponent with high-stepping during the 15-yard run after the catch and an unsportsmanlike penalty was called. Thankfully, his brother Nathan Caleb Torres posted the video and tagged @AZPreps365 so the world can see how ridiculous this actually was.
Controversial TD Celebration Gets Unsportsmanlike Penalty
What makes matters worse is that was Torres' second unsportsmanlike conduct penalty of the game. He was ejected from the contest and faced an automatic one-game suspension, which would make the senior miss his final homecoming game against San Tan Valley Poston Butte the next week, according to the Arizona Republic.
"I am really perplexed, because I am still not sure what he did wrong. He did have high knees, but there is no rule against high knees. He scored, ran to the back of the end zone and celebrated with his teammates. I didn't see it as taunting. My only concern would be if those evaluating this situation believe he shouldn't have been ejected, but don't overturn the suspension. Many times the politics of a situation won't allow us do what's right, even when we know it's right. I don't blame anyone. I just think a mistake was made. We all make mistakes, but we all don't get the chance to correct them and we should when opportunity presents itself."
— Peoria coach Will Babb, via the Arizona Republic
Seriously, though, what did Cameron Torres do to deserve the penalty in the first place? He made an impressive catch and ran into the end zone. Sure, his knees were a little high, like Babb said, but there is no way anyone should consider that taunting.
The call was ludicrous, and it was going to cost Torres a special Arizona high school game and memory in 2018.
Although ejections couldn't be appealed, according to the Arizona paper, but it could be sent to the Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA) with hopes that an error could be overturned.
This was definitely one that deserved to overruled.
"I will tell you this, nobody works harder than these football officials," Brian Gessner, the AIA's head of officials told azcentral.com. "They are in the rule book, looking at video. They work hard at their advocation. It's a judgment call. I'm not going to overrule judgement calls. This is a championship crew. I'm not going to comment on their judgment."
Well, the championship crew made a mistake by completely botching this call, and it was a shame for Torres to miss that homecoming game for something that is so trivial in nature and has been part of football forever.
This post was originally published on September 26, 2018.
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