Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun
Friday, Nov. 2, 2012 | 11:22 p.m.
Las Vegas Sun sports reporters Ray Brewer and Case Keefer recount their experience coaching the Las Vegas All-Star team against Findlay Prep in basketball and move on to football talk in the 11th Prep Sports Now of the year.
Reviewing the regular season numbers, one statistic stood out as a negative to the Bishop Gorman coaching staff.
The Gaels had only created 10 turnovers, much fewer than the marks from the three previous years under coach Tony Sanchez. The coaching staff challenged the players to focus on getting takeaways in preparation for Friday’s Sunset Regional quarterfinal game against Shadow Ridge.
Lorenzo Fertitta Jr. answered the call. The Villanova-bound senior defensive back picked off four passes in a 78-13 victory over Shadow Ridge.
“They were good interceptions, too,” Sanchez emphasized. “He went up for a couple and had to wrestle them away. He made big plays on all of them. He was Johnny on the Spot for us tonight.”
Fertitta tied the state record for interceptions in a game, according to the NIAA record book. He was the first Southern Nevada player to accomplish the feat, however, as the other two four-interception games in 11-man football came from players at Reno’s Hug High.
Gorman recorded six takeaways in total, as Justin Sweet also notched an interception and Jake Smirk forced a fumble that the Gaels recovered.
For one night at least, Gorman’s defense overshadowed its record-shattering offense. The Gaels were ahead 21-0 with 25 yards of total offense at the beginning of the game.
That’s because Shadow Ridge went for it on every fourth-down regardless of field position. The Mustangs also went for an onside kick every time they lined up for a kickoff.
Their two scores came from Bakari Smith.
Gorman will go on to meet archrival Palo Verde next week. Sanchez said excitement was already building as soon as the Shadow Ridge game came to an end.
“Since I’ve been here, I think that game is the biggest celebration of football in the whole city,” he said. “You get the rockin’ Texas-like Friday night feeling for this game that you don’t get a whole lot in Las Vegas.”