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March 27, 2015

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high school football:

Lorenzo Fertitta Jr. sets Southern Nevada interception record in Gorman win


Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

Bishop Gorman cornerback Lorenzo Fertitta covers Our Lady of Good Counsel wide receiver Andre Levrone during their game Friday, August 24, 2012. Bishop Gorman won the game 27-22.

Prep Sports Now

When basketball coaching fails, it's back to football talking

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Las Vegas Sun sports reporters Ray Brewer and Case Keefer recount their experience coaching the Las Vegas All-Star team against Findlay Prep in basketball and move on to football talk in the 11th Prep Sports Now of the year.

Reviewing the regular season numbers, one statistic stood out as a negative to the Bishop Gorman coaching staff.

The Gaels had only created 10 turnovers, much fewer than the marks from the three previous years under coach Tony Sanchez. The coaching staff challenged the players to focus on getting takeaways in preparation for Friday’s Sunset Regional quarterfinal game against Shadow Ridge.

Lorenzo Fertitta Jr. answered the call. The Villanova-bound senior defensive back picked off four passes in a 78-13 victory over Shadow Ridge.

“They were good interceptions, too,” Sanchez emphasized. “He went up for a couple and had to wrestle them away. He made big plays on all of them. He was Johnny on the Spot for us tonight.”

Fertitta tied the state record for interceptions in a game, according to the NIAA record book. He was the first Southern Nevada player to accomplish the feat, however, as the other two four-interception games in 11-man football came from players at Reno’s Hug High.

Gorman recorded six takeaways in total, as Justin Sweet also notched an interception and Jake Smirk forced a fumble that the Gaels recovered.

For one night at least, Gorman’s defense overshadowed its record-shattering offense. The Gaels were ahead 21-0 with 25 yards of total offense at the beginning of the game.

That’s because Shadow Ridge went for it on every fourth-down regardless of field position. The Mustangs also went for an onside kick every time they lined up for a kickoff.

Their two scores came from Bakari Smith.

Gorman will go on to meet archrival Palo Verde next week. Sanchez said excitement was already building as soon as the Shadow Ridge game came to an end.

“Since I’ve been here, I think that game is the biggest celebration of football in the whole city,” he said. “You get the rockin’ Texas-like Friday night feeling for this game that you don’t get a whole lot in Las Vegas.”

Case Keefer can be reached at 948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at

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  1. For all the people that gave Lorenzo Jr. crap for his play or starting position or his Nova scholarship offer "Haters can hate but money cant buy INTs" Kudos to Lorenzo Jr. are well deserved an earned. And i'm not one to brown nose or give an obligatory clap everytime a Fertitta's name is called by the announcer like some brown nosers in the stands but the kid deserves credit, he earned it and i'm giving him his due.

    Kudos to Shadow Ridge coaches for doing giving their players every opportunity to stay in the game. They would have lost ugly to any #1 seed in town but they took the same approach that Liberty did in the state semi final game last season and took chances early and often.

    Twice going for it on 4th down from their own 15 yard line in the first quarter, fake punt from own red zone. Seriously got to give them credit. Bakari Smith reminds me of Hasaan Henderson. Kid was legit with talent and played his heart out.

    I know the fans on their side were pretty upset at some of the calls. I have to give my honest assesmen. The refs were very inconsistent. They missed several clear calls for both sides. They changed the original penalty they called maybe half a dozen times and they threw late flags more often than not. They almost let the game get out of hand.

    I will voice something I saw that concerned me and gave me flashbacks of Gorman's meltdown against DLS when Zeger was ejected and our actions were disgraceful. Last night Tillman was a in a good match up with SR corner that got pretty physical throughout the game. Nothing wrong with letting them play but the refs let it go too long and didn't nip it when they should have.

    On one particular 70 yard break by Starks for a TD, Tillman was doing a great job blocking his corner, they got into a shoving match with the SR player eventually trying to throw Tillman when they were clearly 5-6 yards off the field. The ref didn't call it but then Tillman pushed SR corner back, pretty hard onto the metal fence that borders the field. I don't condone what either player was doing. What bothered me was the 3-4 Gorman coaches who gave Tillman a high five after seeing that shove onto the fence. Stick to your block? Absolutely. Don't back down? Yes, kudos sir. But high 5 for retalitory play, which could have easily been a 15 yard penalty and negated the TD is wrong message to send from coaches.

  2. Aloha tuasdad,

    I admire your feedback, but especially the one concerning respect of the game.

    Regarding Fertitta Jr, he played well against a team Gorman's JV could've beat. Again, like stated in the past, their LB'S / DB'S need help & that comes down to coaching. There front four (4) has been way...better than average providing they scheme is Pop Warner (straight on). If they had more than one (1) assignment front four would be unbelievable and that's why they lost against Bergen.

    Regarding the statement about brown-nosing, there's a little in there my Brother.

    Here's my personal opinion: The only way any teams in Nevada will beat Gorman is by the "PAST" and I don't see any team here (Southern Nevada) that can pass.

    Bottom line, I'm a loyal Gorman fan because of my nephews that play there. Lets just say with a humble heart, any team can be beaten on a certain day.

    Again, appreciate your truthful comments & please give the Ohana our Love & Blessings!!!!!!!

    Love, Gil

  3. Thanks Gil,

    I will definitely agree that the defensive line is woefully under utilized. I can understand we've had injuries on the defensive front but i know they could be damn near unstoppable if given the right bag of tricks and used to their full potential.

    As for Jr. certainly his feat wasn't accomplished against the stiffest competition but there's been 3 other teams who's JV could have beaten them and none managed 4 picks by one guy. Sure it helped that Shadow Ridge was going for broke and threw a lot of bombs, and threw his way more often than to Sweet's side- but getting 4 picks would be worth bragging about at a flag football game with friends, so it certainly warrants at least a little credit. Credit which anyone would be getting if it wasn't for that last name, so I felt obliged to give credit there. Are there better players that could be in his spot? Wouldn't doubt it.

    By the way Sweet's INT was the nicest of them all, absolutely perfect coverage on that one.

    Anyway, much love to you too brother I'm looking forward to some very good match ups in the next few weeks. Makes me wish I could be at two places at once.

  4. Lorenzo is awesome...huge game, good for him! I've never doubted his ability. Very happy for him and the team.