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Unsportsmanlike conduct penalties are usually reserved for actions outside of the spirit of the game – excessive violence, taunting, making contact with a quarterback in any way whatsoever and so on. California high school football operates under a different directive, however, one that punishes the most sportsmanlike plays with a swift hammer of justice.
Quarterback Zack Johnson of Kimball high school was scrambling outside the pocket and up the sideline on a broken play when he encountered a defender. That defender went low, so Johnson went high. Really high. Like, he hurdled him clean. It was a beautiful hurdle, one without contact and a smooth landing. Johnson eventually scooted on into the end zone for six points. Except it turns out that hurdling is illegal, for whatever reason, and worthy of an unsportsmanlike penalty. So the touchdown was called back.
We would argue that an in-game hurdle is the most sportsman of all plays, demonstrating his true sporting and athletic sportiness. But that argument would fall on deaf ears, apparently.
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