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September 20, 2014

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high school football:

Bishop Gorman scores 72 points, captures third straight state title with domination of Reed

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Sam Morris

Bishop Gorman tackle Zach Singer stands over Reed High School running back Ty Shepard after stopping him for a loss during the 4A championship football game Saturday, Dec. 3, 2011 at Damonte Ranch High School in Reno. Gorman won their third consecutive title 72-28.

Bishop Gorman-Reed state football finals

Bishop Gorman running back Shaquille Powell gets away from Reed High School of Sparks defensive lineman Jared Emerson during the 4A championship football game Saturday, Dec. 3, 2011 at Damote Ranch High School in Reno. Launch slideshow »

Bishop Gorman wins state title again

KSNV coverage of Bishop Gorman's third consecutive state championship in football, Dec. 3, 2011.

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Will Gorman be tested by Reed in state title?

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Las Vegas Sun sports reporters Ray Brewer and Case Keefer sign off on the high school football season by dissecting the final game of the season, a state championship showdown between Gorman and Reed in Reno. They also praise for Liberty for its effort against Gorman in the semifinals.

There wasn’t much suspense Saturday at Damonte Ranch High in Reno for the 4A classification state championship football game.

After all, virtually every contest Bishop Gorman High has played the past three years has been decided before halftime.

Saturday was no exception.

Anu Solomon passed for five of Gorman’s eight first-half touchdowns against Reed High of Sparks, helping the Gaels lead by 48 points by halftime in a 72-28 victory for the program’s third consecutive state title.

Yes, the powerhouse Gaels exploded for 72 points.

The three crowns are a first for a large-school classification team from Nevada since Northern Nevada’s Wooster High in the mid-1980s, giving Gorman a 43-3 record since head coach Tony Sanchez was hired in 2009 with no defeats against an instate opponent.

“I never in a million years when I got here thought we would win three in a row,” Sanchez said. “To be the first Gorman team to ever do that and be the first (Nevada) team in 20-odd years is very special.”

Against what was supposed to be a quality opponent in Reed, Gorman’s offensive display speaks volumes to its dynasty. At one point in the first half, senior tailback Shaquille Powell had three touchdown runs in a span of four carries, finishing with 86 career touchdowns.

Solomon showed why he is one of the state’s all-time great passers, dissecting the Reed defense for touchdown pass of 20, 58, 78, 26 and 57 yards. That was all in the first half, too.

Solomon has thrown a touchdown in three consecutive state title games — another stat in the endless line of impressive numbers Gorman has produced the past three years.

“Words can’t even explain how I’m feeling right now,” Solomon said. “It’s pretty special to me to be involved in this three years in a row.”

Bishop Gorman's Ryan Smith, left, and Terrence Chambers celebrate Chambers' touchdown against Reed High School of Sparks during the 4A championship football game Saturday, Dec. 3, 2011 at Damonte Ranch High School in Reno. Gorman won their third consecutive title 72-28.

Bishop Gorman's Ryan Smith, left, and Terrence Chambers celebrate Chambers' touchdown against Reed High School of Sparks during the 4A championship football game Saturday, Dec. 3, 2011 at Damonte Ranch High School in Reno. Gorman won their third consecutive title 72-28.

Ryan Smith, who is also a junior, has long been Solomon’s favorite target. The two hooked up six times for 193 yards, with Smith hauling in long touchdowns of 58 and 78 yards. In last year’s title game, Smith had touchdowns of 33 and 57 yards from Solomon.

Solomon’s final touchdown of 57 yards was to Terrance Chambers with 51.9 seconds left in the half, a play where Chambers made a few nifty moves and outraced the Reed defense to the end zone.

That made the score 55-7.

The domination felt similar to a typical Friday night in Las Vegas, where Gorman is so head and shoulders better than local competition that the second half is a mere formality, with reserves running a limited version of the playbook.

It was the same drill in the state finals.

Reed, which entered with just one loss and had scored nearly 700 points in 13 games, certainly didn’t play like the state’s second-best team. Gorman has that ability to take teams out of their game.

“You have to play mistake-free football. We didn’t do that. And that is because of them being such a good football team,” Reed coach Ernie Howren said. “If you really want to be successful and compete against them, you can’t make the mistakes we made.”

Most of Reed’s success came after the Gorman starters were out. Reed quarterback A.J. Silva, who had passed for 40 touchdowns and 2,700 yards, only had 180 yards passing and three touchdowns.

Reed scored consecutive touchdowns in the fourth quarter against the Gorman reserves, but Sanchez put Powell back into the game for a game-sealing 3-yard touchdown run with less than four minutes to play. Arguably Gorman’s top offensive player the past three years, it seemed only fitting he score the final touchdown to go along with 156 yards rushing on 16 carries.

“I tell you what. It never gets old winning them. It never gets old winning these things,” Sanchez said. “The kids come out and they work so darn hard. At the end of the day, to have it pay off like this, it is amazing.”

Gorman closes the season with a 16-1 record and consensus top-10 national ranking. In the three championship game wins, Gorman has outscored Del Sol (2009), McQueen (2010) and Reed by a combined 174-49.

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  1. Way to finish strong Gaels!! Can't believe the season is over. Great job and congrats fellas. Great season Reed. Can't wait wait for next season and the pursuit of #4.

  2. To the victor goes the spoils. Congratulations to all the young men of the bishop Gorman Gaels. The game is played on the field and there you won by a decided margin. Special congrats to the Sr class. Enjoy the moment.

    What I'm most disappointed about is that the season is officially over. There is no better time than football season. Can't wait til next year. Will gorman dominate again or will someone rise to take their spot as top dog? Everyone has 8 months to prepare.

  3. Oh, and by the way, Tahoueguy and others, don't get me confused with our new poster boy nvfootballfan. Our names are similar, but no way the same or of same opinions.

  4. Congrats Gaels! You deserve this win!

    Can't wait for the 2012 season. I'm sure Coach Sanchez will put together another awesome squad and Top 10 schedule. Onward to 4 in a row!

  5. Ray and Case, thank you so much for your efforts with the high school scene. You 2 have done a great job all year. Reno can't get a blog session right and you guys time and time again get the job done with professionalism. The real beatdown yesterday was the media coverage between the north and south. Thank you....

  6. Congratulatoins to Gorman. They are without a doubt not only the best program in the state, but they are also a national power. Both the city of Las Vegas and the state of Nevada should be proud of what this team/school has accomplished the past 3 seasons. Congratulations to the players, coaches, students and fans. You have a great program.

  7. Gang: Rob (my boss) posted the reminder because of some of the out-of-line comments on my blog from the game. We love reading the opinions of our readers and agree that is what makes our site great for high school football. But there is a difference between voicing your displeasure toward the state of high school sports in Nevada (Gorman's dynasty) and being negative toward a player on one of the teams. While Gorman is definitely in the public eye, we are (and always will be) dedicated to making sure the players are celebrated, not unfairly commented about. That's my duty to the community and I do that for Gorman, Palo Verde or any school in the valley. Thanks for keeping everything in good fun. More importantly, thanks for following our coverage. Case Keefer, photographer Sam Morris and the rest of our crew cherish Friday nights in the fall.

  8. Just read the RJ's comments being promoted by SG! They are full of racist commentary and Gorman hate. Not surprised SG would include the link in his post. Way to promote racism in a cowardly passive way. Those comments should be deleted and the Sun should delete the link on this page. True colors show SG.

  9. Everyone needs to relax about Gorman. They had a great year. They've won 4 of last 5 years in football. Before that they hadn't won in about 25 yrs. The new school and facilities have made them more attractive. What made the difference is that they brought in top youth coaches that had dominant teams and got them to bring their kids. I believe they have 3 or 4 coaches that brought in the talent. Remember Sanchez was new to the area. But, those kids are filtering through. Their JV was not as strong this year and their freshmen team did not have near the talent it's had in the past. Even Sat their 2nd and 3rd stringers were not very good. I was there Sat and you could see major drop off when the starters went out. So yes, they are enjoying a great run, but there are other programs that are building and next year should be more competitive. Don't get me wrong, Gorman will be good again, but so will others. And give credit to Gorman they've raised the bar, which is better for the area. But let's quit making excuses and blaming Gorman. Support your school and help them build their program like Liberty is.

    So once again, congratulations gorman. You've had a great run. But it's going to get tougher next year. You have a big target on your back (which is a compliment to your success) and there are a few teams that will be coming after you next year thats talent level is closing the gap quicker than you think.

  10. As usual, well said Tuasdad. However, people like SG and his ilk will never really address your statements because it differs from their world view. They need to HATE Gorman or else focus their hatred on their own bitter faults. I've followed your posts all season and anytime you or anyone else presents a logical point of view, it is ignored by people like SG.
    Thanks for supporting your alma mater and the kids who go there in a positive way. I personally know current parents and STUDENTS who appreciate it. I tip my hat to you!

  11. Ray Brewer and tuasdad, Nice to meet you both in person at the game. To the other Gorman parents and fans I spoke with, nice to meet you all as well.
    Congratulations to BG on an outstanding season.

    @lvfootballfun, don't worry, no way your posts could be confused with "nvfootball...."

  12. Until next football season. Happy holidays everyone...you too SG1.