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Eight-Year-Old Turned an Interception Into a Touchdown — Then His Team Was Fined $500 and Coach Suspended for an 'Absurd' Reason

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"This is his first year. This was his first touchdown. He is an 8-year-old boy making a pick-six."

Image source: WGCL-TV

Eight-year-old Elijah Burrell had just intercepted a pass late in the game and did what came naturally.

The kid in the #2 jersey tucked in the pigskin and headed for the end zone. Touchdown! Elijah's first one ever.

Image source: WGCL-TV Image source: WGCL-TV

Except there was one big — and expensive — problem with the otherwise happy moment.

His undefeated Lawrenceville Black Knights were ahead 32-0 in the fourth quarter — and Elijah's interception return for a touchdown eclipsed the peewee league's 33-point mercy rule, WGCL-TV in Atlanta reported.

The penalty? A $500 fine. But not only that: The Knights' coach earned a weeklong suspension.

Elijah's mother, Brooke Burdett, said her son was "beyond excited" in the moment and wasn't thinking about the mercy rule.

"He had no idea," she told WGCL. "This is his first year. This was his first touchdown. He is an 8-year-old boy making a pick-six."

Image source: WGCL-TV Image source: WGCL-TV

Burdett said the team would have accepted a $100 fine but the $500 penalty and the coach's suspension is excessive, particularly because her son wasn't trying to run up the score. In fact, she said, the Knights tried to let the other team score on the next play but the other squad refused to catch the ball.

"For the league to think we intentionally went out there to run the score up is absurd," Chando John, another football mom, told WGCL.

John has been connected to the Knights for three years and said she's tired of the mercy rule.

"How do I explain to an 8-year-old kid that your coach has been suspended because your teammate unintentionally scored?" John asked.

CBS46 News

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