High school football player ejected for thanking God during game

A football player celebrating after a touchdown is something we often see. But a valley high school football player says he was recently ejected from a game because of it.
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A football player celebrating after a touchdown is something we often see. But a valley high school football player says he was recently ejected from a game because of it. 
 
This high school senior plays for Dysart High School in the west valley. 
 
It was Friday night’s game against Glendale High School where he says he was ejected for pointing to the sky as a way of thanking God after a touchdown.
 
Dysart High School Senior Pedro Banda has been playing football since he was 8-years-old. 
 
In all of those years he's never had any problems, until Friday. 
 
It was the last drive of the game against Glendale and Banda got the ball and scored a touchdown.
 
"I started to walk over to my sideline, and I kissed my hand and I pointed up to the sky and I didn't know I was penalized for it because I didn't see the flag," Banda said.  
 
Banda ran back on the field, but was told to get off because he was ejected for excessive celebration. 
 
"Thinking of myself that I'm the best or I'm number one and I think that's what they interpreted it as," said Banda. 
 
But Banda says it was quite the opposite and he was only doing what he does after every touchdown. 
 
"I was just trying to thank my God for everything that he has given to me and for all of the power that he's given to me to play this sport because not everyone can do it."   
 
Banda is now suspended from the next game he plays, but the next game is no ordinary game.
 
It's a playoff game, which the school hasn't accomplished in 21 years. 
 
Banda is a college football hopeful and says not being able to play in this game could change everything he's worked so hard for. 
 
"I'll never get the chance to get the game back and every game is valuable when you don't know what's going to happen." 
 
Banda says his coach will be appealing the decision and they should find out whether it's overturned by Saturday’s game. 
 
We did reach out to the Arizona Interscholastic Association for a comment, but they could not be reached. An appeals committee is reviewing the decision to eject Banda from the game.
 

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