The Serra High football team has been awarded a forfeit after discovering from game films that Verbum Dei used an ineligible player in a 20-13 victory over the Cavaliers on Oct. 1.
The forfeit puts Serra in position to gain a share of the Camino Real League title if it beats Pius X and St. Monica beats Cantwell tonight. That would leave Serra, St. Monica and Cantwell in a three-way tie for first with 5-1 records.
Serra assistant James Durks said Verbum Dei would not acknowledge using the ineligible player, Charles Slade, until it was presented with evidence found in game films. Durks said the process was slowed because Slade wore different jersey numbers against Serra and the following week against Mary Star, which had already been awarded a forfeit.
"Verbum Dei gave us information that Slade was No. 44, but against us he was No. 29," Durks said. "From listening to the audio on the tape at the beginning of the game, we heard the announcer saying, 'Back deep for Verbum Dei, Charles Slade.' We looked to see who was deep (on the kickoff return), and through the process of elimination we found out it was Charles Slade.
"Verbum Dei did not want to admit it. We had to dig."
Slade was ruled ineligible because Verbum Dei failed to submit the proper paperwork to the Southern Section regarding Slade's transfer from Narbonne, Serra Athletic Director Tim Boyer said.
Verbum Dei Athletic Director Andrew Wooten could not be reached for comment.