And just like that, the Xavier Prep Saints went from sheer joy to utter disappointment. For the second straight year, Xavier Prep will miss the playoffs on a DVL rule oversight. The Saints were under the assumption if they beat Palm Desert on Friday (paired with a Cathedral City loss) they would move on to postseason play because Xavier Prep won the three-way tie break coin flip on Wednesday. The Saints beat Palm Desert 41-35 in overtime, however, due to a DVL constitution and by-laws oversight, the third and final automatic DVL playoff berth belongs to Palm Desert, the same team Xavier Prep beat.
According to the DVL constitution and by-laws 5.0 Section 5.2, in three-way tie break scenarios, a point system tie break precedes any potential coin flip tie break. The breakdown for the point system tie break is as follows:
3 points for the winning team at the conclusion of regulation time
1 point for both teams at the conclusion of regulation time if the game is tied
1 additional point earned for the team winning the game in an overtime period
Because Xavier Prep beat Palm Desert in overtime rather than regulation, the Aztecs received an additional point by just making it to the overtime. Meanwhile, the Saints only received two points for beating the Aztecs in overtime, rather than three points they would’ve received with a regulation win.
The point system breakdown is below:
Palm Desert – 10 pts (Indio win, Cathedral City win, Coachella Valley win, Xavier Prep OT loss)
Cathedral City – 9 pts (Coachella Valley win, Xavier Prep win, Indio win)
Xavier Prep – 8 pts (Indio win, Coachella Valley win, Palm Desert OT win)
That puts Palm Desert in sole possession of third place in the DVL. Cathedral City moves to fourth place, giving the Lions the chance to apply for the at-large playoff berth, and Xavier Prep is in fifth place, despite winning three games just like the teams above them. It’s a bitter pill to swallow for a program that was near euphoria on Friday and now with broken hearts in just under 24 hours time.
Xavier Prep Athletic Director Mark Campbell broke the news in a mass letter, seen below.
To Xavier Nation,
It is with great sadness and an extremely heaving heart that I write this email this evening. I write this email coming off the most exciting high school football game I have ever been a part of. Our athletes, students, parents, and coaches represented Xavier with the outmost class and I have never felt more pride than I did last night. Our warriors were courageous in battle and fought a relentless fight all the way to the final play that crowned the Xavier Saints the real Kings of Cook St. It was through sheer determination and a relentless spirit from our crowd, coaches, and most importantly our athletes that the Saints were victorious last night here on the campus of Xavier College Prep.
Over the course of the day in my reflections of this historic and triumphant night, it came to my attention that the Athletic Director Council of the Desert Valley League neglected to foresee all scenarios for potential tiebreak possibilities. In good conscience and after many conversations throughout the day, we have come to the decision to report this oversight to the Council. In this over sighted tiebreak situation, Xavier does not receive a CIFSS playoff berth as Palm Desert would claim the DVL #3 position and Cathedral City would now be eligible to apply for the DVL #4 At-Large Petition.
This does not wash away the efforts and heroics of our athletes and the incredible season they had in the face of much scrutiny and doubt. They will forever remain the Kings of Cook St. Last night’s game will live on forever and the fruits of their labor will result in many championships and banners in the near future.
With the heaviest of hearts,
Xavier College Prep