Peoria receiver Cameron Torres high-stepped his way into the end zone after making a remarkable catch along the sideline for his second touchdown this season in last week’s shootout with Goodyear Desert Edge.
It was an emotional moment for the senior, and it was made even more so because it will cost him his last homecoming.
For his actions, Torres received his second unsportsmanlike conduct penalty of the game, which resulted in him getting ejected from the game and an automatic game suspension. But does he deserve the penalty?
— Nathan Caleb Torres (@DJTorresMusic) September 22, 2018
Video of the play was brought up for discussion over the weekend.
Ejections can’t be appealed to the Arizona Interscholastic Association. But it can be sent to the AIA with hopes that an error could be overturned.
Peoria coach Will Babb said his emotions went “full circle” over the weekend over the play. He wants to make sure his players are held accountable.
But the more Babb looked at the scoring catch, the more he felt there was an injustice.
“I am really perplexed, because I am still not sure what he did wrong,” Babb said. “He did have high knees, but there is no rule against high knees. He scored, ran to the back of the end zone and celebrated with his teammates. I didn’t see it as taunting.
“My only concern would be if those evaluating this situation believe he shouldn’t have been ejected, but don’t overturn the suspension. Many times the politics of a situation won’t allow us do what’s right, even when we know it’s right. I don’t blame anyone. I just think a mistake was made. We all make mistakes, but we all don’t get the chance to correct them and we should when opportunity presents itself.”
Peoria has sent its side to the AIA and the Arizona football officials’ leadership, but has not received any feedback yet.
“I would hope things work out for Cameron, as this is his senior season and his last homecoming game,” Babb said. “But if it doesn’t, he’ll still be supportive of his teammates and come out of this OK.”
Brian Gessner, head of officials for the AIA, said he’s not going to comment on whether it was the right call.
“I will tell you this, nobody works harder than these football officials,” Gessner said. “They are in the rule book, looking at video. They work hard at their advocation. It’s a judgment call. I’m not going to overrule judgement calls. This is a championship crew. I’m not going to comment on their judgment.”
Peoria (4-1) hosts San Tan Valley Poston Butte (2-3) at 7 p.m. on Friday.