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Texas HS Football Player Who Blindsided Referee Faces Assault Charges; Team Pulled From Playoffs

The player who had previously been ejected from the game was escorted from the stadium by police officers

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A Texas high school football player who charged onto the field and blindsided a referee after being ejected from a game Thursday night is facing assault charges and his team has been pulled from the postseason.

Senior defensive lineman Emmanuel Duron, 18, of Edinburg High School was ejected for a late hit and unsportsmanlike conduct during the first half of the Bobcats' regular-season finale against District 31-6A opponent Pharr-San Juan-Alamo.

A Texas high school football player charged onto the field and blindsides a referee Thursday night, angered after being ejected from the game. Senior defensive lineman Emmanuel Duron of Edinburg High School faces assault charges and the school district has pulled the team from the playoffs.

After the referee announced the ejection, Duron was seen in the video running back onto the field chased by another player and a coach. Seconds later, he collided with the official who quickly fell to the turf.

The referee, who laid on the turf for several minutes after the hit, was evaluated for a concussion by medical personnel at the stadium.

The game resumed after a delay, with Edinburg winning 35-21 to advance to the playoffs which were to begin next week. Friday, however, the school district said it was removing the Edinburg High School football team from the playoffs and released the following statement:

"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 Dec. 3, 2020. 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."

The Texas Association of Sports Officials said they were also opening an investigation into the assault and described the hit as "vicious and deliberate" and unfortunately something that is "not new to Texas football."

emmanuel duron
NBC 5 News
Emmanuel Duron, photo inset is a mugshot from the Hidalgo County Jail on Dec. 4, 2020.

Duron was escorted from the stadium by police officers Thursday night and is now facing a Class A assault charge. As of Friday afternoon, Duron was being held in the Hidalgo County Jail on $10,000 bond.

Duron was the District 31-6A Defensive Player of the Year in 2019 and is also the Bobcats' kicker, punter and a star wrestler for the school.

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