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April 26, 2015

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high school football:

Mistakes and turnovers too much for Gorman to overcome in loss to New Jersey school

Gorman drops its fourth game in the past four years, suffering through uncharacteristic performance for rare setback


Stephen Sylvanie

Gaels halfback Nathan Starks returns a kickoff for a touchdown during the first quarter against visiting Bergen Catholic High School at Bishop Gorman High School on Friday night.

Gorman Falls to Bergen Catholic

Gaels halfback Nathan Starks returns a kickoff for a touchdown during the first quarter against visiting Bergen Catholic High School at Bishop Gorman High School on Friday night. Launch slideshow »
Prep Sports Now

Palo vs. Liberty and Gorman's national test headline busy week

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Las Vegas Sun sports reporters Ray Brewer and Case Keefer bring all the ranting and raving any Southern Nevada high school football fan could ever want on the fourth episode of this year's podcast. Brewer further fuels his detractors at Centennial and predicts a lopsided victory in favor of Bishop Gorman. Does Keefer agree? Listen to find out.

The Bishop Gorman High football team was in an unfamiliar spot Friday night: being outplayed and making too many mistakes.

On most Friday nights, it’s the three-time defending Nevada state champion and nationally ranked Gaels applying the pressure to force the opposition into the costly errors.

Bergen Catholic of New Jersey had other ideas Friday night, flipping the script on Gorman and capitalizing on seemingly everyone of the Gaels mistakes in a 42-35 upset victory at Fertitta Field.

Gorman allowed more than 300 passing yards. In the first half, they had a pair of turnovers in their own territory, including a premature snap by the center that knocked off quarterback Anu Solomon’s helmet and was picked up by a Bergen defender deep in Gorman territory to set-up a touchdown.

In the final seconds of the first half, Gorman suffered its biggest error.

Following a Bergen touchdown for a 21-14 lead, the ensuing kickoff landed at about the 30-yard line between a pair of Gorman players. The Bergen special teams unit raced down the field and grabbed the loose ball for one last possession before halftime. They eventually scored for a 28-14 halftime advantage and would never trail the remainder of the game.

This was just Gorman’s fourth loss in nearly 50 games since Tony Sanchez became coach in 2009.

“We did quite a few things that really hurt us and didn’t give us the opportunity to have the kind of success we thought we’d have today,” Sanchez said.

Junior running back Nate Starks was solid all night for Gorman in rushing for 151 yards on 15 carries, including a touchdown run of 59 yards in the second quarter when the teams were exchanging scores. After Bergen took the initial 7-0 lead in the first quarter, Starks returned the kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown to even the game.

That’s why Bergen decided to go with the short kick all night — they also recovered another kickoff in the second half, but was flagged for a penalty to give Gorman the ball.

“Hats off to them. They are a good football team,” Sanchez said. “Some of the things we did, we couldn’t recover from.”

While Gorman twice cut the deficit to one touchdown in the second half, the damage was simply too much to overcome. Bergen at one point in the fourth quarter led by three touchdowns.

Despite being a non-factor most of the night, Solomon completed 14-of-23 passes for 231 yards and three touchdowns, including a pair of strikes in the final minutes to make things interesting. Jamir Tillman had touchdown receptions of 11 and 15 yards, and Ryan Smith caught a 35-yard touchdown with 40 seconds to play.

“They are a good team. If you make mistakes, they will convert on it,” said Tillman, who had six grabs for 92 yards. “We’ll go to practice and work on (the mental mistakes) so it doesn’t happen again.”

Gorman (2-1) will play its fourth national opponent to open the season next Friday when it travels to Southern California to face Servite High. Last year, they beat Servite at home on a last-minute field goal.

“We’ll get right back up, dust ourselves off and get back to work,” Sanchez said.

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

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  1. It was a very good high school football game. The Crusaders displayed great preparation in all phases of the game and their offensive and defensive lines were dominating. Gorman's explosive offense could not overcome the turnovers to remain in the game. Nathan Starks was a beast all night long and was able to keep the score close. Congratulations to both teams.

  2. Bitter Bob...i mean Marshc05... not sur what you saw but I spoke with several coaches and players from Good Counsel and Bergen, both of which praised the good hospitality.

    WE got humbled by a great program with a solid team who did things right. Hats off to them and their coach. Pre-season I picked us to go 2-2 in the 4 OOS games so no shock. This is what happens when you consistently play the best programs in the country. It was a good slice of humble pie and Gorman is better for it, rather have this bad game now than drop a game to Liberty or somebody in the playoffs.

    I was going to do this last time but decided not to so I'll do it now. It is absolutely pointless to have hundreds of students in the "G-Block" all orange student section if 90% of them are too cool to bother cheering. They have the "Thou shall not sit down" banner but they need to get one that says "Thou must stop updated your twitter, look up and actually make some noise".

    It's pathetic that a handful of parents from Jersey made more noise than 4k fans on the Gorman side. Same happened against Liberty at state and Servite last year. I'd rather see 20 kids in the "G-Block" screaming their lungs out like we did when I went to Gorman and 99% of the students were too cool to cheer or dress up than hundreds of them standing there clueless to what's happening. Same goes for too many of the rest of the fans in the stands too uppety to stand up and cheer.

    Note to "fans" of Gorman- The other team has the ball make some noise. The other team calls a lot of audibles-make more noise. It's third down on defense, make some noise. Seriously annoying how most of the fans and 80% of the G Block were dead silent when Bergen had a 3rd or 4th down going for it.

    There's a lot of good fans, parents and alums out there that did it right, so kudos to them and thank you but seriously don't bother coming out if you;re too cool to make some noise. Even the players noted it.

  3. I have watched the last 2 games (1) from Hawaii and this past week from LV. The previous year's team had a much better defense...I seen Sanchez mumble something after the game about giving up 40 points in Hawaii and now 42 this week. Teams are passing them silly...they need to beef up the secondary too many wide open receivers. They have a nice team but right now are having trouble stopping the oppsitions passing game

  4. Sg1- Again it goes without saying (but will be said anyway) that you're quite a bitter man.

    Second- You know how things work around here, so when you start your critique with "I'm about to thrash a kid or two" you're making the bed you're about to lay in. Can't expect pity when you know exactly what you're doing, like it or not. Not saying you're wrong, just saying you're smart enough to know what's going to happen to your comment. I'd love to sit here and put you down personally but it would be for nothing as it would get taken down. However I am glad you posted it on wordpress, so....

    Point Negative 1- My DVR didn't record so I can't comment on that lineman. However if true it would be as disappointing as Zeger's ejection against DLS after numerous dirty plays.

    Point 1- I agree. Sanchez was out coached. Hats off to his more talented counterpart from New Jersey. It happens. Gloating on him getting out coached seems stupid to me, but it's SG1 so no shock there. I also agree that Rost stubbornly refuses to switch it up for his own teams good.

    2- You're insulting a HS kicker? I just can't imagine what a Gorman alum did to you or your wife/daughter/employer/dog/retirement fund- for you to feel the need to rag on a kicker. Do you realize how rare decent kickers are in HS? 90% of Fielden's kicks are touch backs...2 different kickers tried the onside and failed. You tried zero, so did I. Giving a hard time to a teenager for failing an onside kick that is hard for pro kickers to successfully complete seems clearly inspired by hate not unbiased and constructive criticism. Again, it's you, no shocker.

    3- BC certainly was succesful on numerous screens. Misdirections changed but they ran a lot of the same plays and they worked. The fact that they went for it on numerous 4th downs even with less than favorable field position is a credit to their ability to impose their will and Gorman's inability to stop it. Our play did not warrant the respect of punting it away. It happens, only most of us don't gloat on it. And also it happened against what's very likely to be a top 5 team come Monday. I picked us to lose to Servite and Good Counsel before the season started so I may be right about 2-2 start but would love for it to start 3-1. Again this type of things happen when you play the best teams you can find, kudos to them for taking them. Just like Arbor View took the game on short notice against Gorman last year, or the Liberty scrimmage, you get better by playing the best and there's no shame in losing to a better team, that's usually what happens. You're basically gloating and insulting teenagers for losing to a team that was better than them. Again I'd love to throw a personal insult here but..

  5. 4- I couldn't agree with you more as you may have noted from my previous post. I envied Servite's crowd and now Bergen's. Nothing is more pathetic than packed stands most of which are filled with people too cool to cheer. Don't worry though when the cycle continues and Gorman has a couple bad years the socialites won't bother showing up if it's not on ESPN and only those of us who aren't fair weather or too cool to cheer will be left. Honestly I'd rather see half empty stands with the kids who make noise than what we saw again on Friday.

    7- He's a millionaire with a potty mouth? Sorry I guess all former Gorman students or alums should be priest.

    Again i'll break the same record and wish you'd grow up. Learn to give constructive criticism rather than comments consisting mostly of bitterness and for some vendetta.

  6. I hear you on Dana, while the popularity of UFC and MMA has helped bridge the gap, I do believe his persona has been the reason for some missed opportunities for them as a business in the past not so much now. In a sport which was very taboo and you're trying to turn the general public on that not every fighter is like Floyd Mayweather and you're pushing gentlemen like Georges St. Pierre or Joe Lauzon as your samples, it's kind of self defeating for the company head to be a potty mouthed fellow. But hey it's worked for them. Dana and the Fertitta's are billionaires while you and I sit here commenting on the Sun story and i'll be lucky if I can afford to send my kid to Gorman in 12 years when she's old enough to go.

    While it's worked out quite well for them it's surprising since Dana's style is 100% opposite of Frank and Lorenzo who are very well spoken and courteous.

    As for the sunshine, there's plenty of anti Gorman or just tasteful hate or just critiquing on all their stories you just have to follow their policies which apply to all schools. It just seems more towards Gorman because you get more comments on 1 Gorman storty than the 12 other school stories combined. true story.