Stephen R. Sylvanie / Special to the Home News
Saturday, Aug. 30, 2008 | 12:04 a.m.
- Strong defense leads Centennial to a 43-14 win over Durango (8-29-2008)
- Green Valley nips Bonanza (8-29-2008)
- Cimarron-Memorial rally falls short at home (8-29-2008)
- Coronado overcomes penalties to top Clark (8-29-2008)
- Despite loss, Desert Oasis has high hopes (8-29-2008)
- Wadsworth puts on show in Silverado’s win over Desert Pines (8-29-2008)
- Middlebrooks lifts Foothill to 49-14 rout (8-29-2008)
- Basic defeats longtime rival to maintain ‘The Jug’ (8-29-2008)
- Palo Verde blanks Reno, 56-0 (8-29-2008)
- Del Sol romps Vikings, 54-26 (8-29-2008)
- Other games: Shadow Ridge gets win over Chaparral (8-29-2008)
- All-Valley Pre-Season Team (8-28-2008)
Bishop Gorman's defense has a way of cooling off just about any offense it faces, no matter how hot the opposition may be.
Take Service High of Anchorage, Alaska, for example. Entering their match-up with the Gaels on Friday, the Cougars had scored 129 points in their initial three games. Against Gorman, they scored none, as the Gaels rolled to a 24-0 win during their home opener.
"Our defense came out very strong, and I think the scoreboard shows what we can do," Gorman defensive end Justin Chaisson said. "We watched film on them. We knew every single set they were going to come out in and we had our defensive plays ready for the certain plays they run. That's how we came out and dominated."
Service only collected 113 yards of offense. Only 25 of those yards came on the ground as Gorman allowed just one run of more than 10 yards. When it became apparent the ground game was futile, Service took to the air only to see the Gaels come up with a pair of interceptions.
"They scored about 140 points in their last three games so shutting out a team that has that much firepower is great for our defense," said free safety John Therrell, whose second-quarter interception set up Gorman's first touchdown — a 1-yard run by Raphel Finley.
The victory got Gorman back in the win column after seeing a 14-game winning streak snapped in their season opener, which the Gaels lost to Phoenix Brophy Prep, 16-6on Aug. 23.
Unlike that game, the Gaels' revamped offense, which features an entirely new set of skill position players, was able to move the ball with consistency against Service. "We knew we could do it," Gorman coach Bob Altshuler said. "It was just a matter of all the new faces getting in there and gelling and understanding the game plan. Our kids stepped it up. They say between your first game and your second game is where you make the most improvement."
Gorman spread the wealth offensively as six players carried the ball at least four times. The leader of the group was Kawika Antolin, who rushed for 118 yards on just six carries. Antolin stated his case to take over Gorman's starting running back spot for his older brother Keola Antolin, now a freshman tailback at Arizona.
For the second straight game, the Gaels played three players at quarterback including Therell, Joe Huber and Chase Cresto.
Therell started the game and completed 5 of 8 passes for 50 yards, including a 6-yard scoring strike to Charles Childers that put Gorman up 17-0 midway through the third quarter.
Huber, who started at quarterback against Brophy but played flanker for most of the game against Service, completed his only pass to Taylor Spencer, who out-leaped a defender to snag the ball before outrunning the defense 53 yards for the game's final score.
Cresto completed 2 of 9 passes for 27 yards.
Altshuler said he would have to review film before deciding who the Gaels' starter would be at Archbishop Riordan of San Francisco on Sept. 5. Although the coach added he wants one quarterback in place by the time league play begins.
Therrell said he wasn't sure if he made progress toward being named starting quarterback.
"That's for the coaches to decide," Therrell said. "I just want to go out there and play my hardest whether it's safety or quarterback or both."