El Mirage football player ejected from game says he was praising God

EL MIRAGE, AZ - There's controversy in El Mirage over a call that got a Dysart High School football player ejected from a game.

The player says officials ejected him for some unsportsmanlike conduct when really he was praising God after scoring a touchdown.

Pedro Banda, 17, is still asking why he was ejected from Friday night’s football game against Glendale.

The senior running back, jersey #15, scored a touchdown on the last drive of the game and did something he says he always does.

“I put my hand up to my face mask and I pointed to the sky and I looked up for about four seconds," he said. 

That move was enough to get a flag thrown, and Banda ejected from the game for excessive celebration.

“They thought I was saying I was number one and I was taunting the other team," he said. 

Banda says that’s not what he was doing.

“Excessive celebration is when you use the ball as a prop or you do something to the other team or put on a show with your teammates.”

Banda may be sitting on the sidelines once again for Dysart’s first playoff game in 25 years on Friday. That’s because an ejection is an automatic one game suspension.

However, he says he will continue to do the gesture after scoring touchdowns.

“I just thank God for all the power he’s given me to play the game," he said. "And I just give the glory to Him.”

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