A Texas high school football team notched a victory in a win-or-go-home play-in game on Thursday night, but lost their best defensive player in one of the uglier incidents you’ll ever see on the field.
During the Edinburg High Bobcats 35-21 victory over the PSJA High Bears, senior defensive end Emmanuel Duron was ejected by referee Fred Gracia after being hit with back-to-back unsportsmanlike penalties on the same play, according to The Monitor.
After exchanging words with Gracia, Duron was headed to the sidelines but then sprinted back onto the field seconds later and drilled the referee with a full-speed blindside hit, sending him sprawling to the turf at Richard R. Flores Stadium.
Following the hit, Duron was escorted from the stadium by four police officers who were working security at the game and he did not return.
After taking the brutal hit, Gracia was able to walk off the field under his own power. But, the 58-year-old was evaluated for a potential shoulder injury and concussion-like symptoms at an ambulance outside the stadium.
“I can’t release any information on that and I apologize for that,” Edinburg head football coach JJ Lejia said following the game. “I hope you understand. I want this (moment) to be about our program and all the other kids we had on the field tonight.”
An All-Area Boys Wrestler of the Year award winner in 2020 with a 44-8 career record on the mat, Duron was leading the Bobcats in tackles (102) and sacks (eight) through four games.
According to The Monitor, Duron was suspended for the remainder of the 2019-20 soccer season after a similar incident. It is hard to see Duron playing another game or wrestling another match for the Bobcats.