A Texas high school football game took a sudden turn on Thursday when a player who'd been ejected ran onto the field and slammed into the referee. During the game between the Edinburg High Bobcats and the Pharr-San Juan-Alamo High Bears, Edinburg's Emmanuel Duron was ejected.
After the ejection, he went back onto the field looking like he wanted to take on the referee. He aggressively ran onto the field and slammed into the referee, Fred Garcia, who was unsuspecting and fell to the ground. After the incident, the referee was evaluated in an ambulance outside the stadium for a potential shoulder injury, as well as concussion-like symptoms. He did not return to the game.
According to The Monitor, Duron was charged with Class A assault on Friday morning following an arraignment at the Edinburg Municipal Court. A cash surety bound in the amount of $10,000 has been set for Duron.
In addition, the Edinburg CISD announced Friday that Edinburg is no longer eligible for postseason play as a result of the incident.
"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 statement read. "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
"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."
Duron was escorted out of the stadium by four Edinburg Police Department officers who were working security at the game.
Edinburg went on to win the game, 35-21, without Duron. According to The Monitor, Duron, the team's "star defender," was suspended in the 2019-20 soccer season for an incident similar to the one that took place on Thursday. He is also a standout wrestler, and The Monitor named him All-Area Boys Wrestler of the Year last season.
RVG Sports' Andrew McCulloch took to Twitter to explain what he saw, calling it a "Really really ugly moment here in Edinburg,"
A cart is being brought out to help the ref off the field— Andrew McCulloch (@ByAndyMcCulloch) December 4, 2020
This is awful
"Idk what happened but Emmanuel Duron was ejected from the game….Moments later, he ran onto the field and body slammed the ref who ejected him...Ref is still down on the turf #RGVFootball #txhsfb," McCulloh wrote.
There was a long delay due to the incident.
McCulloch continued, writing, "Referee has gotten up and is walking around under his own power...Hard to see Duron, a senior, playing another game for the Bobcats — win or lose — after that incident."
The good news, according to the referee's daughter, is that he's doing just fine after the hit.