Edinburg High School removed from Texas football playoffs day after player slams into ref

 A Texas high school football team has been removed from the playoffs a day after one of its players charged onto the field and knocked down a referee.

Edinburg High School senior defensive lineman Emmanuel Duron slammed into referee Fred Gracia after Gracia announced Duron had been ejected from the game.

According to The Monitor of McAllen, Duron was ejected after he received back-to-back unsportsmanlike conduct penalties when he shoved an opposing offensive lineman to the ground, attempted to tackle the quarterback after the whistle had blown the play dead and exchanged words with the 58-year-old Gracia.

Duron was escorted from the stadium by police officers.

"The district has decided to remove the Edinburg High School football team from the playoffs after an unexpected incident involving a student that occurred during a football game on December 3, 2020," the Edinburg Consolidated Independent School District announced Friday. "We extend a sincere apology to the referee and his family. On behalf of the Edinburg CISD Board of Trustees and administration, we apologize to the athletes, staff, and our school community.The incident occurred in the first half of Edinburg's 35-21 playoff victory. Despite the win, the team's season is over.

"We will take the appropriate disciplinary action once we understand the facts and circumstances underlining this incident. The district takes these matters very seriously; however, we cannot comment further on a pending investigation."

The Texas Association of Sports Officials announced Friday it has begun its own investigation, calling Duron's hit on Gracia "another vicious and deliberate assault ... on a TASO Football Official by a player who had just been ejected from the contest."

The District 31-6A Defensive Player of the Year last season, Duron also is the Bobcats' kicker and punter and a star wrestler.

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