Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun
Friday, Nov. 30, 2012 | 2:05 a.m.
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It's the game everyone expected for the state championship — Bishop Gorman vs. Liberty. Las Vegas Sun sports reporters Ray Brewer and Case Keefer play oddsmaker and try to set the appropriate line on the game. They settle on Gorman -25, with opinions split on which team covers at Sam Boyd Stadium Saturday.
- This game against Bishop Gorman will be much different for Liberty
- A state championship win Saturday would put Bishop Gorman in exclusive company
- State championship picks
- Liberty makes quick work of Coronado for Sunrise title, has confidence it can compete next week against Gorman
- Gorman weathers valiant effort from Reed, advances to face Liberty in state title game
- State or bust: Liberty hopes the third time is a charm in state semifinals
- High school football section
When looking at the following figures, it’s tough to find a flaw in the Bishop Gorman High football team’s dynasty.
The Gaels will take on Liberty in the state championship game at Sam Boyd Stadium at 12:15 p.m. Saturday, looking to become the first Nevada team since Reno High in the 1950s to win four straight titles.
Here’s a look at the dominance:
This tells the entire story: Gorman has outscored opponents 3,042-641 during Tony Sanchez’s 59 games as coach the past four years — a point differential of 40.69 points per game. In the past three state title games, Gorman has won by an average of 41.6 points.
Best QB-WRs combination in state history: The numbers Gorman quarterback Anu Solomon has posted in his four-year Gorman career shatter every significant large-school passing record in state history, according to the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association record book. Solomon has completed 525 of 827 passes for 9,912 yards and 134 touchdowns. The Arizona-committed signal caller has rushed for another 19 career touchdowns and has just 16 interceptions. Ryan Smith has been a regular in the Gaels’ starting lineup since his freshman year, hauling in 129 career passes for a large-school record 3,107 yards and 48 touchdowns. Jamir Tillman, who had one catch for 11 yards as a freshman, has become Mr. Reliable in leading Gorman with 57 receptions for 946 yards and 12 touchdowns this fall. For his career, Tillman has 135 catches for 1,905 yards and 31 touchdowns.
Watch out for Gorman in the first half: Gorman has scored 126 combined points in the first half of the past three state championship games. Last year against Reed, the Gaels had eight first-half touchdowns and led 55-7 at the half. Solomon has passed for eight first-half touchdowns in state title games, including five last year.
Silver State opponents always overwhelmed: Gorman has a 49-game winning streak against Nevada opponents dating back to the start of the 2009 season, winning all but one game — a 38-28 victory against Palo Verde in 2009 — by more than 20 points. Gorman’s last in-state loss came in the 2008 Sunset Regional championship game against Palo Verde. In Southwest Division games, the Gaels’ last defeat came in the 2006 season. Somehow, they lost to both Spring Valley and Sierra Vista.
Gorman not the only team with players posting gaudy numbers: Liberty senior running back Niko Kapeli entered the season as the program’s all-time leading rusher. For his career, he’s gained 5,575 yards with 57 touchdowns. That includes having success against Gorman in last year’s state semifinals, rushing for 157 yards and a touchdown.
The Kapeli and Nacua show: Liberty High seniors Kai Nacua and Kapeli have accounted for 61 percent of the Patriots' touchdowns this fall. Nacua, who starts at quarterback and also plays wide receiver, had 29 total touchdowns — 15 rushing, 10 passing and four receiving. To compare, Gorman’s Solomon and running back Nate Starks have 55 percent of the Gaels’ touchdowns.