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June 16, 2019

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Gorman rolls up 10th win against Bonanza

Bishop Gorman at Bonanza

Jummel Hidrosollo/Special to the Home News

Bishop Gorman wide receiver Victor Belen brings down Bonanza running back Delano Helmuth at Thursday’s football game at Bonanza High School.

Bishop Gorman at Bonanza

Bishop Gorman's Justin Chaisson (95) wraps up a Bonanza player during Thursday's game. The Gaels came out on top, winning 44-7. Launch slideshow »

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The Bishop Gorman offense has gotten a whole lot more potent in the last 11 weeks.

Entering the season, it appeared the most likely thing that would stop the Gaels from defending their 4A state championship would be their ability to score points after the team graduated all of its offensive skill position players from a year ago.

Gorman’s inexperience showed in its season opener at Phoenix Brophy Prep, as it could only muster one score in that 16-6 loss on Aug. 23.

But with the postseason a week away, the Gaels’ offense looked more like a Ferrari than the a lemon it was in week one as Gorman rolled to a 44-7 win at Bonanza in the regular season finale. It was the team’s 10th straight win.

“When we started at the beginning of the year, our skill guys just needed playing time and film time,” Gorman coach Bob Altshuler said. “At this point, 11 games later, they have that experience and know what to do. We’re really improved. We’re versatile. We have a lot of sets, and our kids have gotten them down.”

The Gaels scored on their first possession of the game after an interception by John Therrell put the ball at the Bonanza 28. Four plays later, Raphel Finley found the end zone on a 6-yard run.

Bonanza took a 7-6 lead early in the second quarter on a 28-yard touchdown pass from Sterling Sprau to Delano Helmuth, but the Bengals wouldn’t tally a point the rest of the way. Gorman went on to score on its next four series before halftime.

Initially it was Kawika Antolin finishing drives with touchdown runs of 2 yards and 31 yards to make it 19-7. Quarterback Joe Huber also scrambled for a 13-yard score. Then the highlight of the game came on Gorman’s final series of the half when Huber was about to be tackled on a run but tossed the ball backward to an unsuspecting Antolin, who turned the play into an 18-yard touchdown, his third of the game.

“It was pretty exciting,” said Antolin, who rushed for 91 yards on nine carries. “Joe pitched it to me out of nowhere, and I was like 'Oh my God.’ I was shocked.”

Antolin said the Gaels are ready to defend their state title. Gorman opens the playoffs against Legacy on Nov. 7.

“We have to step our game way up high to get back to that championship,” Antolin said. “We’ve improved a lot this year. We came together as a team. We’re united. And we’re ready. It’s going to be fun.”

Gorman added to its lead in the third quarter on a 34-yard touchdown pass from Huber to Taylor Spencer, who tallied 107 receiving yards on three catches. Colin Ditsworth provided the final points with a 28-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter.

“We lost a lot of guys from last year, but we still have a lot of weapons,” Huber said. “That Brophy game was a little rough. We had a lot of new guys out there. But everybody is together and gelled. We’re really looking good now.”

Christopher Drexel can be reached at 990-8929 or [email protected].

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