Verbum Dei was forced to forfeit its victories over Serra and Mary Star for using an ineligible player.
Verbum Dei Principal Rev. Marvin Threatt petitioned the Camino Real League on Nov. 12 for clemency, citing administrative oversights.
A vote was taken of the principals, and Verbum Dei's request that on-field records determine playoff entries was granted.
The decision to use on-field records gave Serra a 3-2 league record going into the Eagles' final regular season game against Pius X. Serra's 30-0 victory over the Warriors would not have qualified the Cavaliers for the playoffs, if Verbum Dei had beaten St. Anthony on Nov. 12. However, St. Anthony won, 16-8, to knock the Eagles out of playoff contention.
"Ignorance of the rules is no excuse," Serra interim coach Charles Nash said. "This means if a school breaks a rule, all they have to do is ask the league for forgiveness. It sets a dangerous precedent."
The league vote, involving Cantwell, St. Monica, Pius X, Mary Star and St. Anthony, was 3-2 in favor of Verbum Dei.
"That's the way they do it when they don't like you," said Tim Boyer, Serra's athletic director.