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September 20, 2014

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high school football:

Gorman makes another national statement by taking down Our Lady of Good Counsel

For the second straight year, Gorman beats a nationally ranked opponent at home

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Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

Bishop Gorman head coach Tony Sanchez talks to his players and students after defeating Our Lady of Good Counsel Friday, August 24, 2012. Bishop Gorman won the game 27-22.

Bishop Gorman vs. Our Lady of Good Counsel

The Bishop Gorman footabll team takes to the field for their season opener against Our Lady of Good Counsel Friday, August 24, 2012. Launch slideshow »
Prep Sports Now

Sollenberger Classic, Division 1-A and Wiz Khalifa

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Back from Arizona, a heartbroken Ray Brewer recounts the costly mistakes that made Nevada teams go 0-2 in this year's Sollenberger Classic. Fellow Las Vegas Sun sports reporter Case Keefer helps him cope by looking at this week's national showdown between Bishop Gorman and Maryland's Our Lady Of Good Counsel. The two also babble semi-coherently on the rest of the week's games and high school football players' favorite rappers. Don't forget to subscribe to Prep Sports Now on Itunes.

One down. Three to go.

That’s one way to analyze the Bishop Gorman High football team’s schedule following Friday night’s 27-22 victory against Our Lady of Good Counsel from Maryland in the season opener.

Quarterback Anu Solomon passed for 243 yards and accounted for all four of the Gorman touchdowns to help the Gaels open a 15-point lead early in the third quarter. Even though Our Lady made things interesting late — partially because several Gorman starters suffered leg cramps — the Gaels still picked up a big-time victory, 27-22.

Our Lady came in ranked in the top-10 of multiple polls, giving Gorman a victory against a national foe for the second straight season. And, more important, Gorman’s brand continued to reach new heights with the game televised by ESPN2 in the network’s first high school game of the year.

“We just made a statement that we can play with anybody,” Solomon said. “We are up to the task. If we keep working hard every day, I believe we can get better.”

Gorman won’t have much time to enjoy the win. Not with a schedule that seemingly has no breaks for the three-time defending Nevada state champions.

Next week, Gorman has arguably its stiffest challenge of the year when it plays at St. Louis High of Hawaii. St. Louis is a Hawaii power, and while they aren’t as nationally respected as Our Lady, Gorman will have its hands full with traveling to the island.

They’ll also be tested Sept. 14 when they host Bergen Catholic of New Jersey and the following week when they play at California power Servite.

But, just like Friday night, the reward for emerging victorious in the other three non-local games is significant. Gorman will have continued establishing itself as a national power, going from winning one Nevada championship in 20-plus seasons prior to 2007 to becoming a regular in the national rankings.

To run the table against national-caliber competition isn’t easy, which is something Gorman learned firsthand Friday. Last year, they split against a pair of ranked opponents at home, and each game was decided by three points.

“They are a great football team. We knew they weren’t going to quit,” Gorman coach Tony Sanchez said of Good Counsel.

Click to enlarge photo

The Bishop Gorman footabll team takes to the field for their season opener against Our Lady of Good Counsel Friday, August 24, 2012.

“I tell you what, anytime you play the No. 5 team in the country, you can hold on all you want,” he later added.

Solomon and Ryan Smith hooked up for a pair of scoring strikes, including a 70-yard touchdown early in the third quarter to increase the Gorman lead to 27-8.

But when it appeared Gorman would cruise to a lopsided victory, Our Lady rallied to make things interesting. Our Lady closed with 14 unanswered points, taking advantage of a Gorman team forced to play several reserves because of leg-cramp injuries to starters.

Twice in the final five minutes, Our Lady had drives in Gorman territory and seemed in position to take the lead. Both times they didn’t score.

Nate Starks, the Gorman junior running back and safety who is one of the class of 2014’s top recruits, was the most noticeable Gorman player to miss significant time in the second half with leg issues. But he returned in the final minutes to rush for the game-clinching first down in running out the clock.

“When you play against a team like that with that many weapons and that many good kids, you are kind of naive to think you can (shut them down),” Sanchez said.

Gorman didn’t waste time scoring the game’s initial points, driving 82 yards on the game’s opening possession. Solomon’s 27-yard touchdown pass to Smith gave Gorman a 7-0 lead just four minutes into the game to cap a six-play drive.

Solomon completed 13 of 17 passes for 243 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for an 8-yard touchdown in the second quarter. That’s why he is considered one of the nation’s top dual-threat quarterbacks and committed to the University of Arizona. He also threw a 19-yard touchdown pass to Tajon Allen in the second quarter.

On what turned out to be the game-winning touchdown in the third quarter, Smith took Solomon’s short pass and out-raced the Our Lady defense down the sideline. Both Solomon and Smith are four-year starters on the varsity, helping lead Gorman to new heights each season.

Now, they have to duplicate the efforts three more times — and, of course, against local competition, which it hasn’t lost to since 2008.

“We are very confident. We know going into these next few games that if we play like this, or even better, good things are going to happen,” Smith said.

Ray Brewer can be reached at 990-2662 or [email protected]. Follow Ray on Twitter at twitter.com/raybrewer21.

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  1. Ray,
    Thanks for the coverage as usual. Great win for BG. Like Tuasdad, I picked against the Gaels. Way to fight through the cramping and injuries. Shows the character and heart of those young men. Also, CONGRATS to the other winners from last night. Especially Sunrise Mountain. FYI: Servite lost last night and St. Louis lost its opener last week. Despite that, BG better not take either for granted!

  2. OneCal...I am more than happy to eat crow on this one! After watching up I cemented my thought that GC had too much depth and we had too many 2 way guys to keep up in the 4th quarter. Hats off to Gorman players for doing what they did. Smirk was limping, Starks was out, Nacua with a broken collar bone plus others forced even more guys to play on both sides of the ball and they did great. Frank Fertitta Jr. did really well and Lorenzo was about 7 inches shorter than his WR but covered pretty well. Everyone stepped up Singer was legit on both sides of the ball, kid is a beast. Anu made a statement. Even though their strength of schedule took a hit with Servite and St Louis losing I think they'll stayed focused. Upsetting Good Counsel will be for nothing if they **** the bed against St Louis or Servite (yes Ray it's an upset only Maxpreps had us at #11 everyone else had us outside the top 25 and GC in top 10) For all the money and stadium and facilities they showed heart last night. You can't buy heart. Go Gorman.

    As for the rest very happy that Sunrise Mtn got the win. I can't imagine how bad that potty mouthed western coach ripped his players after that loss. Basic and BC scored on them at will but for Sunrise Mtn (albeit an improved SM) to blow you out like that is a bad bad sign even in an easy Division.

  3. I now see why Arizona didn't want Gorman to play in the Sollenberger Classic. Nice win for the school and the kids.

  4. Well once again I have to apologize and say I was wrong. Great atmosphere and great weather last night. I agree, Solomon and Singer were the dominant players on the field. A lot of kids played well but those two were the best on the field. Something else I have to say, BG badly out coached GC. BG was sitting on everything GC wanted to do. For all that talent GC supposedly has (QB overrated, wr going to UV also and their lineman) GC coaches looked like they had a bad game plan couldn't change and looked totally confused. East coast football is overrated. Nevada should get more respect.. GC had 2 extra weeks in pads, 2 scrimmages and still didnt look as prepared as BG . Fuller kid was open on slants all day but only thrown to 7 times. He was good but GC didn't use him enough. Anyway, I enjoyed the game and the atmosphere. But don't bet on my predictions, or you'll go broke.

  5. Glad to see that Gorman is playing meaningful games instead of just beating up on public high school teams! This is where Gorman should be playing.

  6. Tick.... I wholeheartedly believe that Arizona was more than happy to host Gorman it was 100% the NIAA's decision not to send them. Arizona's top programs are pretty good. Gorman is 1-2 against AZ schools.

    The end result may not be pretty but one of AZ's better programs (who beat gorman a couple years ago) Brophy College Prep plays the #1 (rivals ranking) team in the country Santa Margarita (CA) on espn2 tonight. Santa Margarita beat Gorman pretty easily at a 7 on 7 passing game this summer. Santa Margarita also has the biggest OL in the country and should win against a very good Brophy team.

    Zetzman...Gorman can't help it if they've been playing in the NIAA for 57 years and happen to have been really good for the last 5 of those years. THey don't control where they are geographically located and that there are in a very sparsely populated state with incredibly few private schools. They've been going out and picking fights with the best football programs for the open weeks on their schedule for years now.

  7. Go Gaels!

  8. Coming from a high school in GA that's won a couple of National Championships, I must admit that I never thought I'd see the day of watching a NV High school football team that looked so good.

    Good job BG.. A Very entertaining game to watch.

    When you are from SEC country, Great solid football is MUCH appreciated!

  9. I encourage Las Vegas Public School supporters to check out Hawaii's Kahuku. A public school in a sparsely populated state. A state with one of the best Private schools in the nation: Punahou. And yet, Kahuku has dominated Punahou and St Louis the last couple of years!! Attended a Kahuku game 2 years ago and one word describes the experience...AWESOME!!!!

    Kahuku didn't complain about Punahou or St. Louis. Kahuku got getter and now owns HS Football in Hawaii. Go Red Raiders!!!

  10. Wow!!! What a hit by justin sweet!! just sweet, sweet,sweet