Published Friday, Oct. 1, 2010 | 10:22 p.m.
Updated Saturday, Oct. 2, 2010 | 12:43 a.m.
Palo Verde hosts Cheyenne in a Thursday night game between two traditional Northwest powers. The Panthers have looked nearly invincible while starting the season 5-0, but could the Desert Shields give them a scare in this rivalry game?
This was supposed to be the one local opponent on the Bishop Gorman High football team’s schedule capable of putting up a fight.
Desert Oasis entered with a 4-1 record and was perfect in three league games. By the end of the third quarter, however, the game was being played under a running clock — high school football’s mercy rule when one team leads by 45 or more points.
Gorman, which lost last Saturday 28-14 to nationally ranked De La Salle of Northern California, showed few signs of having a hangover from the trip. The Gaels only led 7-6 after the first quarter, but closed the game with 49 unanswered points.
Shaquille Powell, Gorman’s star junior running back, started the scoring with a 35-yard touchdown run four minutes into the game to give the Gaels the lead for good.
Powell, however, was limited to six carries as Gorman relied on its passing attack most of the first half to build a 49-6 halftime advantage.
Solomon, a sophomore, threw touchdown passes of 52 and 38 yards to Ryan Smith, and also found Powell on a shovel pass for a 43-yard scoring strike.
“Shaquille has carried the ball quite a bit. We already know what he can do,” Sanchez said.
Smith, also a sophomore, caught five passes for a season-best 124 yards. Solomon completed 9-of-13 passes for nearly 200 yards.
“When the quarterback, Anu, gives us a good ball to catch, we are able to get some good yards,” Smith said.
After giving up a pair of long runs and a touchdown on a fourth down play in the first quarter, Gorman’s defense didn’t allow much yardage the rest of the game.
Jalen Grimble, Gorman’s defensive lineman who is committed to USC, had a 17-yard fumble return for a touchdown seconds before halftime to cap a 35-point second quarter. Grimble also blocked a punt and extra point.
A week after playing in front of thousands of fans on national television against De La Salle, Sanchez was proud of the way his team responded on a short week. They spent most of Monday watching game film and recovering from the travel.
“We knew it take the guys a moment to get their heads out of the clouds from last week,” Sanchez said.
Desert Oasis’ lone points came at the end of the first quarter when KamBrenn Heatley scored on a 28-yard run.