After positively enjoying the first eight games of the 1992 football season, Serra High was undecided about the last two.
The Cavaliers settled for their second consecutive tie Saturday afternoon as they battled Verbum Dei to an 8-8 deadlock in the final regular-season game for both teams.
The tie cost host Serra the outright Camino Real League title. Although the Cavaliers (6-2-2, 4-0-2 in league) will share the trophy with St. Monica (5-1), they will enter next week's Southern Section Division VII playoffs as the league's No. 1 representative.
It was the sixth consecutive year Serra has won or shared the Camino Real League title.
"I thought we were ready to play and take it to them," Serra Coach Kevin Crawley said. "I definitely thought we would win this game. All I can say is we fell a little short."
Despite being outplayed, the Cavaliers maneuvered into a position to win after denying Verbum Dei (3-6-1, 3-2-1) on a drive that reached the Cavalier one-yard line.
Taking over at its own 12, Serra began clicking offensively.
Successive 17-yard runs by Lajon Jordan and Rod Smith moved the Cavaliers into Eagle territory, and Rory Aguilera's six-yard run positioned them at the Verbum Dei one.
A quarterback sack returned them to the six, and on fourth down tailback Ken Fredieu was stopped at the line of scrimmage.
"We have a sophomore kicker (Juan Sosa) who hasn't kicked a field goal all year," Crawley said. "I didn't want to put the pressure of a game and a possible league championship on a sophomore's shoulders.
"We wanted to punch it in but decided on one play not to block and it killed us. We had a big 90-yard drive but it started on the five and ended on the five."
Verbum Dei scored with four minutes 50 seconds remaining in the first quarter when tailback Alton Stafford scored on a nine-yard run. His two-point conversion gave the Eagles an 8-0 lead.
Serra tied the score in the third quarter on a series that was set up by sophomore linebacker Michael Wiley's fumble recovery.
Aguilera finished the 30-yard drive with a three-yard run and Fredieu tied the score by running in the two-point conversion.