Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun
Published Friday, Aug. 24, 2012 | 5:30 p.m.
Updated Friday, Aug. 24, 2012 | 11:24 p.m.
Back from Arizona, a heartbroken Ray Brewer recounts the costly mistakes that made Nevada teams go 0-2 in this year's Sollenberger Classic. Fellow Las Vegas Sun sports reporter Case Keefer helps him cope by looking at this week's national showdown between Bishop Gorman and Maryland's Our Lady Of Good Counsel. The two also babble semi-coherently on the rest of the week's games and high school football players' favorite rappers. Don't forget to subscribe to Prep Sports Now on Itunes.
The Bishop Gorman High football team opened the season Friday with a 27-22 victory against Our Lady of Good Counsel from Maryland, using 243 yards passing and three touchdowns from Anu Solomon to knock off the top-10 nationally ranked opponent.
Solomon connected with Ryan Smith for a pair of touchdowns, including a 70-yard scoring strike early in the third quarter for a 27-8 Gorman lead.
But just when it appeared Gorman would cruise to a lopsided victory, Our Lady rallied to make things interesting in the ESPN2 televised game.
Our Lady closed with 14 unanswered points, taking advantage of a Gorman team forced to play several reserves because of leg-cramp injuries to starters.
Twice in the final five minutes, Our Lady had drives in Gorman territory and seemed in position to take the lead. Both times they didn’t score.
Gorman returns to action next week against host St. Louis High of Hawaii. It’s the second of four games against national opponents before the three-time defending Nevada state champs start local plays.
Scroll to the bottom of the page for stories about the other high school football games around the valley.Anu Solomon accounts for three first-half TDs, Gorman holds 21-8 lead
This is why Anu Solomon is considered one of the nation’s top dual-threat quarterback recruits.
Solomon, the Bishop Gorman High senior quarterback and University of Arizona verbal commit, has accounted for three touchdowns Friday to lead the Gaels to a 21-8 halftime lead against visiting Our Lady of Good Counsel from Maryland on ESPN2.
Gorman didn’t waste time scoring the game’s initial points, driving 82 yards on its opening possession. Solomon’s 27-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Smith gave Gorman a 7-0 lead just four minutes into the game to cap a six-play drive.
Our Lady responded by driving the ball down the field for an 8-7 lead — the Falcons scored a two-point conversion after their holder mishandled the extra point snap but recovered in time to race around the edge for two points.
Gorman scored on its final two drives of the half to finish strong.
Solomon, a four-year starter, has nearly 10,000 career passing yards and more than 100 passing touchdowns. But, as he proved tonight, he’s also quick on his feet.
His 8-yard touchdown run midway through the second quarter put Gorman ahead 14-8. The designed play had him roll out to the far side of the field. When there were no receivers open, he tucked the ball in his chest and raced into the end zone.
On Our Lady’s next possession, Jake Smirk tipped a pass at the line of scrimmage and Nate Starks intercepted the pass to halt an Our Lady drive deep in Gorman territory.
Solomon closed the scoring with about one minute to play when Solomon’s screen pass to Tajon Allen went 19 yards for a touchdown.
For the half, Solomon completed 6 of 9 passes for 127 yards. Starks, a junior with scholarship offers from Oklahoma and Texas, had nine rushes for 60 yards and one catch for 33 yards.
Check back later for more on the second half.Gorman's ESPN2 televised game highlights this week's slate
The Bishop Gorman High football team’s No. 1 goal is winning the Nevada state championship.
It’s always been that way and will never change. No matter what happens tonight, next week or later in the season, you won’t hear Gaels coach Tony Sanchez or his players talk about winning a national title.
Gorman, which finished in the top 10 of every national poll last year and won a third straight Nevada crown, opens the season at 6 p.m. against Our Lady of Good Counsel on ESPN2 at Fertitta Field. Our Lady is a perennial national power, and both teams are ranked in the preseason, meaning a Gorman victory will carry significant weight at the end of the year when the final rankings are complied.
This is the first of four games against national opponents for Gorman. Each game will be a challenge. And if Gorman can run the table, it would have a great resume for national championship considerations.
Running the table won’t be easy.
Our Lady has 14 players with Division I scholarship offers — including defensive back Kendall Fuller (a Virginia Tech commit), linebacker Dorian O’Daniel (a Clemson commit) and quarterback Brendan Marshall (a Virginia commit) — and finished last year ranked No. 6 by USA Today.
Next week, Gorman travels to Hawaii to face power St. Louis High. On Sept. 14, Gorman will host Bergen Catholic of New Jersey in another nationally televised game. The following week, they travel to Southern California to face Servite in a rematch of last year’s game the Gaels won on a last-minute field goal.
Gorman isn’t the lone game in town.
Teams in the new Division I-A open play tonight, including Mojave at Boulder City and classification power Moapa Valley taking on host Pahrump Valley. Case Keefer and I will have scores of all the games when they become final and stories from each game later in the night. Should be a fun first week.
I’ll keep everyone posted from the Gorman game on Twitter at @RayBrewer21.