The biggest event on Sunday may have been fort Mitchell (Ky.) Dixie Heights five-star quarterback Zeke Pike being ejected from a semi-final contest in the very early going. From our vantage point Pike’s team “Goon Squad” which is coached by event co-founder Baron Flenory was whistled for a delay of game penalty. A frustrated Pike tossed the ball in the direction of the official and it appeared as though the ball had struck him at or near the groin.
The official then calmly ejected Pike from the contest. At first, no one assumed it was as serious as it appeared, but the head official was steadfast in backing his crew and the ejection was upheld. Pike obviously regretted the snap judgment and the “Goon Squad” were left without a quarterback.
In all my years of covering these types of events in which players pay their way to them, I have never seen an ejection. The referees were overly involved compared to how they normally are in this atmosphere. It seemed as though flags were flying all day long on both fields. Pair that with high emotions and 85-degree temperatures and it is a caustic situation. Pike was not right to throw the ball in the direction of the official, but it didn’t seem like the intent was there to hit him, but only Pike knows that for sure.
Pike drew the ire of the head official when on the next series he walked out to the huddle with his team. He was reprimanded, but he honestly couldn’t believe what had happened and how it seemed to get blown out of proportion. The referees likely had to make the call or it would have given the green light for more shenanigans.
Pike was gracious all weekend with reporters as he did several interviews with members of the media. Some people were questioning his attitude, but he showed no other signs of any of that. The kid played all weekend with a smile on his face, but sometimes in the heat of the battle bad decisions are made.
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