Boston’s Cathedral High School football team has learned a hard lesson about the importance of sportsmanship.

The team lost out on the Division 4A Super Bowl title last Saturday when it was penalized for poor sportsmanship after its QB ran into the end zone for what appeared to be the game-winning touchdown.

Quarterback Matthew Owens was on his way into the end zone for a touchdown when he raised his hand up in the air. The referee, however, cited a new sportsmanship rule that negated the TD, paving the way for Blue Hills Regional Technical School to win the game, 16-14.

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino has called the Cathedral High School football team “winners” after learning about the controversial call and even invited the team to have lunch with him.

“The young men at Cathedral are winners in our eyes, regardless of the call on the field, and they deserve to celebrate,” said Menino’s spokeswoman, Dot Joyce. “We’ll always consider the city kids our real Super Bowl champions.”

The team has moved on, but is excited to dine with the mayor. “This is very thoughtful and generous of the mayor. It is very much appreciated especially for the student athletes who deserve to celebrate their great achievements this season,” Terrence Donilon, spokesman for the Boston archdiocese, said.

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