High School Player Flagged For Touchdown Nod to God

Are Hail Marys banned, too?

A high school football player in Tacoma, Wash., got flagged for dropping to his knee and pointing to the sky after scoring a touchdown during a playoff game.

"It's just something I do every time I get in the end zone,” said Ronnie Hastie, a Tumwater High School running back. “To honor my Lord because I play for him. I give him the glory because he's the one that gives me the strength."

Although Hastie’s strength may be divine, high school referees are apparently not.

He was called for unsportsmanlike conduct, a 15 yard penalty—the same amount of yards a lineman would receive after steamrolling a quarterback well after a play.

He apparently broke a Washington Interscholastic Activities Association rule that bans players from drawing attention to themselves.

“I thought it was pretty crummy that kids can't give thanks in public," one Tumwater fan told Q13 FOX.

Sid Otton, Tumwater's Head Coach, says the referees made the correct call.

"If it's a rule and they made it then I agree with it because it's in there,” said Otton. “I admire the young man. He's a great player, great person off the field.”

The penalty did not affect the outcome of the game. Tumwater defeated East Valley 63-27.

Hastie says the next time he scores a touchdown this season he plans to play by the rules.

"I'll change it for the team cause they are the most important; we don't want the penalty," said Hastie.

Tumwater will play in the 2A State Championship on Saturday at the Tacoma Dome.