There are no football games being played within the Sac-Joaquin Section this weekend, the playoff schedule pushed back a week due to poor air from the devastating fires in Butte County.
But a storied program is suddenly out and another one is suddenly thrust in the Division II title game without the benefit of having to earn it on the field.
The section office announced Friday afternoon that Jesuit High School inadvertently used an ineligible player in its 49-7 playoff-opening win over Woodcreek and its 42-0 victory over Granite Bay in a quarterfinal, thus resulting in forfeits.
In short: season over for a Marauders program that had one of its best teams since the school opened in 1963.
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Jesuit self-reported the infraction. Because the ineligible player competed in both playoff games, “there is no advancement by Jesuit’s last opponent,” according to Will DeBoard of the section office.
Top-seeded Del Oro was to host Jesuit in a semifinal but now advances to the final Dec. 1 at Sacramento State against the winner of second-seeded Central Catholic of Modesto and No. 3 Inderkum. Those teams plays Nov. 23 in Modesto.
“We appreciate that Jesuit self-reported this violation,” DeBoard said in a release. “It’s an unfortunate situation for all.”
Jesuit principal Michael Wood posted a statement on school’s website, reading in part, “a sophomore football player, who was ineligible to play in varsity games, was mistakenly inserted into the playoff games.
“We communicated to the CIF that, as an athletic department and school community, Jesuit would never place winning a game in any sport above the rules. Although the decision to insert the player was not intended to and we believe did not influence the outcome, we must abide by the CIF’s decision requiring Jesuit to forfeit both games.
“We are deeply saddened that this is how the 2018 Marauder football season will end for the team, their parents and the entire Jesuit High School community.”