Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun
Saturday, Sept. 22, 2012 | 2:05 a.m.
Las Vegas Sun sports reporters Ray Brewer and Case Keefer talk Liberty's statement victory, Bishop Gorman's error-filled night and Centennial's time to shine against Arbor View. In the middle of the usual discussion, they break into an argument over which player is having the best season so far — D.J. Pumphrey or Niko Kapeli.
NORWALK, Calif. — The Bishop Gorman High football team made a statement Friday night in its last game against an out-of-state opponent this season.
After all, California power Servite High isn’t held scoreless all too often.
Nate Starks rushed for three first-half touchdowns and the Gorman defense didn’t allow a play to be run inside its 20-yard line, leading by five touchdowns at halftime in knocking off Servite 42-0 at Cerritos College.
Gorman finishes its slate against nationally respected opponents with a 3-1 record, giving them momentum for the start of their state championship defense next week when they begin play against Nevada schools.
“State is the ultimate goal,” Gorman coach Tony Sanchez said. “What we have done these last five weeks, the four games we’ve played, to go 3-1 with that schedule, I’m really proud of our guys. There are a lot of people who thought we couldn’t do that. It gives us the momentum we need going into league.”
Gorman had allowed 40 or more points in its previous two games, including last week when they lost for just the fourth time in four years by falling to Bergen Catholic of New Jersey. On Friday, they didn’t play like a team that struggled to hold opponents out of the end zone.
The closest Servite came to scoring was a field-goal attempt late in the third quarter. Servite ran just 11 plays in the first quarter and was forced to punt after three plays on its first two possessions.
“We played third down defense,” Sanchez said. “Every down in practice this week was third down. That was our big emphasis.”
Gorman was equally effective offensively, scoring on three of its initial four possessions thanks to the rushing of Starks and passing of Arizona-committed quarterback Anu Solomon.
Solomon completed 7-of-9 passes for 84 yards in the first quarter, and Starks scored on runs of 14 and 5 yards for a 14-0 lead. Early in the second quarter, Starks broke several tackles in racing for an 81-yard touchdown run.
“We definitely had a chip on our shoulder all week,” said Starks, who rushed for 174 yards on 15 carries in only playing the first half. “We wanted to come out tougher, stronger and faster than everyone of them, and that is what we did.”
Solomon completed passes to 10 different receivers, including five each to Jamir Tillman and Terrance Chambers. Tillman had the nicest catch of the game, bringing down a jump ball in the corner of the end zone for a 5-yard touchdown in the second quarter.
Tajon Allen gave Gorman a 35-0 lead 16 seconds before halftime with a short scoring run, and Solomon closed the scoring in the fourth quarter with a 1-yard quarterback keeper to cap a 17-play scoring drive.
The players were motivated to make amends for the disappointment of last week. Now, they are full of momentum for the start of Southwest League play next week when they host Legacy.
“We had a tough loss last week and we just wanted to put that in the past,” Starks said. “We wanted to come out fired up and make a statement. We are going to do that every week from now on.”
For a team that hasn’t lost to a local opponent in the regular season since 2006, that could spell disaster for the other Southern Nevada teams.