Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun
Friday, Sept. 13, 2013 | 11:10 p.m.
Las Vegas Sun sports reporters spend extra time this week discussing impending matchups between Green Valley and Coronado and Centennial and Arbor View. They also look back on the Henderson Bowl and Bishop Gorman's thrilling victory. ***Note: We apologize for the audio-level issues and are looking into correcting the malfunction for next week. In the meantime, please turn up your volume in order to hear Keefer.***
The snap sailed past Bishop Gorman High quarterback Randall Cunningham II and into the end zone.
Cunningham raced back to pick up the ball, but the damage was already done. Gorman would start its game today against visiting Crespi of California trailing 2-0 after giving up an early safety.
The error was uncharacteristic of a Gorman team known for its precision, but then again, a slow start was to be expected.
Last week, the Gaels needed two overtime sessions to beat host Santa Margarita, a game that emotionally drained the players.
Fittingly, Gorman’s effort in the first half showed it was suffering from an emotional hangover. In the second half, however, the Gaels poured it on, pulling away for a 42-9 victory.
After the safety, and a few other miscues, Gorman (3-1) scored 42 unanswered points to win its third straight game.
“You can’t use it as an excuse, but we didn’t have any energy,” Gorman coach Tony Sanchez said. “The hardest thing is consistency and maintaining that level of energy.
“It is similar to college football — every week you have to get ready to go,” he continued. “They are a good team. It’s a good win. It’s not the prettiest win we have ever had. We are a good football team and we are getting better.”
Sanchez delivered a stern halftime speech, telling players there would be a focus on establishing the run the remainder of the game.
Junior running back Russell Booze got the message. On the second play of the half, he raced 74 yards for a touchdown to put Gorman ahead 21-2 and give his teammates a boost of energy.
On the ensuing Crespi possession, Gorman’s Dylan Weldon intercepted a pass to give the Gaels great field position. A few plays later, Cunningham hooked up with Alize Jones for a 9-yard scoring strike.
And, just like that, the struggles of the first half were a distant memory. Gorman led convincingly 28-2 just three minutes into the third quarter.
“We told them (at halftime) we are going to run two plays. We are going to run the power and the counter until you fix it,” Sanchez said.
Senior Daniel Stewart enjoyed the most success in the running game, leading Gorman with three touchdowns — runs of 12, 3 and 2 yards — and 129 rushing yards. His 12-yard scoring run in the second quarter proved to be the game-winning points.
But the night also belonged to his backup, Booze. The junior found space to run each time he touched the ball, gaining big chunks of yards on multiple carries in rushing for a game-high 167 yards on eight attempts.
“Nobody works harder than we do. I really think we are the hardest working team in (the nation),” Booze said.