Thursday, Oct. 22, 2009 | 11:56 p.m.
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Las Vegas Sun reporters Ray Brewer and Steve Silver remember former Palo Verde coach David Castro while looking ahead to this week's games.
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The Bishop Gorman High football team had a comfortable seven-touchdown lead Thursday night with less than six minutes to play against host Spring Valley when players from the Gaels’ second string were finally inserted into the game.
No, Gorman wasn’t trying to run-up the score.
Rather, the Gaels coach Tony Sanchez was trying to get his starters more action later in the game.
Gorman (9-0) remained undefeated with a 56-6 victory against the Grizzlies to capture the Southwest Division title and secure the No. 1 seed for the upcoming Sunset Regional playoffs.
Gorman, playing in arguably the state’s weakest division, has outscored league opponents 382-29. While winning six of eight league games by more than 50 points is an impressive statistic, it does nothing for building the stamina of Gorman’s top performers for what they expect to be a long playoff run.
“We hadn’t played our first string in the fourth quarter until tonight,” Sanchez said. “You can’t get better when your offense only has six snaps in the second half.”
So, Gorman’s starting tailback, Victor Belen, scored the Gaels first and last touchdown of the night — a 23-yard run in the first quarter and 7-yard run with 5:14 to play.
The Gaels expected to win the Southwest crown — just like they except to win the Sunset Region and state championship.
“This is a small stepping stone in our journey to winning state,” said senior defensive lineman Ian Bobak, who had an interception against Spring Valley and is a big reason why Gorman has given up 12 points in the last four weeks.
“We are filling up our gas tank and getting ready for the long haul,” he said.
Gorman’s Johnathan Loyd had two punt returns for a touchdown while Division I prospects Taylor Spencer (uncommitted) Alex Turner (Stanford) and Xavier Grimble (Southern Californa) added touchdowns. Also, sophomore running back Shaquille Powell scored on a 44-yard run for his 17th touchdown of the year.
“We did a great job of making them look good tonight,” Spring Valley coach Kelly Murphy said. “We were just terrible.”
Gorman closes its regular season schedule at home Oct. 29 against Clark.
Ray Brewer can be reached at 990-2662 or firstname.lastname@example.org.