Video: Bishop Gorman wins eighth straight state title
Host Zack Poff tells what Gorman's decisive victory means for its quest of a mythical national crown.
Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.)
coach Kenny Sanchez called it "laser focus." Those watching at Sam Boyd Stadium called it utter domination. The Gaels themselves just chalked it up to finishing one final piece of business.
Something had to explain the Gaels' rather shocking 84-8 victory over Liberty (Henderson) Saturday in the NIAA 4A championship game on the campus of UNLV. It was Gorman's eighth-straight state crown and 54th consecutive win overall.
The nation's No. 1 team showed the country why it had claimed two straight
previous mythical national championships, and perhaps, laid claim as one of the finest high school teams ever assembled. After all, Liberty (12-2) was no slouch. It had defeated nationally prominent Westlake (Austin, Texas) on the road and
lost only to No. 15 Corona Centennial (Calif). during the regular
season. Liberty was ranked nationally for a large part of the season.
Yet the the Gaels (15-0) were up 35-0 with 2:02 left in the first quarter and 56-8 by halftime. Sanchez took out starting quarterback Tate Martell
on the first play of the second half and star running back Biaggio Ali Walsh
one play later.
There was no piling on.
had accounted for five touchdowns in the first half on runs of 42, 9
and 18 yards and TD passes of 9 and 30 yards to Brevin Jordan
and Jalen Nailor
. Walsh scored on runs of 9
and 25 yards and defensive back Austin Arnold
made a spectacular diving recover of a fumble in the end zone and Greg Oliver
had two of the team's four interceptions.
That was all just in the first half.
Backup quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson
showed what he'll be doing next year with a touchdown run and pass, Arnold returned a punt back 50 for a score and Brock Ruggeroli
finished things off with a 40-yard return of another interception.
Sanchez said the Gaels weren't trying to make a statement. Simply, they were the statement: The nation's best.
Ten seniors who had played since they were sophomores, including Martell, Walsh, Tyjon Lindsey
, Alex Perry
, Bubba Bolden
and Haskell Garrett
, went 45-0 on the field. Martell, Lindsay and Garrett are all committed to Ohio State. Walsh is headed to Cal.
"Some teams are just destined for greatness," Sanchez said. "I was expecting them to play well but I couldn't have seen this. They were just out-of-control good."See all scoring and play-by-play from the game here
Their win streak is the second-longest in the nation and all but assures them of finishing No. 1 in the MaxPreps Xcellent 25 National Football Rankings presented by the Army National Guard.
Martell finished his career 45-0 overall, 43-0 as
a starter. Bishop Gorman's win on Saturday was the team's 86th in a row
against in-state competition.
This was the third straight-year
Gorman beat Liberty in the state finals, with Gorman winning 66-21 and
50-0 the previous two years.
"They had a great week of practice," Sanchez said. "They wanted to finish things off. All week they had been hearing that if they won they'd be one of the best teams in history. I told them then that it wasn't the time to think of that. I told them to wait until after you finish your business. Well, they finished their business. I guess they can start thinking about it."