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Blog: Gorman, kings of Nevada football, capture 6th straight state title

Martell’s 6 TD passes likely sends Gorman to mythical national championship

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Jeff Mulvihill Jr. / Special to the Sun

Bishop Gorman coach Tony Sanchez and his team are presented the championship trophy after the state championship game Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014, at Damonte Ranch High School in Reno. Gorman defeated Reed High 70-28 for the Gaels’ sixth state title in a row.

Updated Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014 | 1:35 p.m.

Bishop Gorman vs. Reed

Bishop Gorman Brandon Gahagan (3) returns the opening kickoff deep into Reed territory during the NIAA State Championship Football game between the Bishop Gorman Gaels and the Reed Raiders at Damonte Ranch High School in Reno, Nevada. Launch slideshow »
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Six-peat

Bishop Gorman is poised to win its sixth straight Nevada state championship Saturday in Reno against Reed. Las Vegas Sun sports reporters Ray Brewer and Case Keefer wonder if anyone in Southern Nevada wants the Gaels to win, discuss the margin of victory and endorse Tony Sanchez as UNLV's next coach.

It’s up to the voters.

The Bishop Gorman High football team did its part today to become national champions, beating Reed High of Sparks 70-28 in the Division I state championship game for their sixth consecutive Nevada title.

Gorman entered ranked No. 1 nationally in every poll, and despite struggling in the first half against Reed, should remain in the top spot when the final rankings are released in about two weeks.

Gorman had outscored Reed 231-87 in four previous state playoff games, but received a big-time test in the second quarter. Reed erased a two-touchdown deficit to tie the game at 21 with about four minutes remaining before halftime.

But Gorman scored twice in the final 1:37 of the half and never looked back, doing what everyone assumed they would — post another lopsided victory. They outscored Reed 49-7 to close the game.

Tate Martell, the state’s Gatorade Player of the Year, finished with six touchdown passes. On his initial three passes, he threw touchdowns.

Tyjon Lindsey had three touchdown receptions for the Gaels and Cordell Broadus had two. Russell Booze unofficially had about 170 yards and a touchdown run.

Sports icon Muhammad Ali took in the game, watching grandson, Biaggio Ali-Walsh, rush for two touchdowns for Gorman.

Check back later for more coverage.

Gorman football takes Reed’s best punch, scores 2 TDs late in first half for 35-21 lead

The Bishop Gorman High football team’s quest for a sixth straight championship was briefly interrupted today by Reed High of Sparks in the Division I state championship game.

Reed scored two consecutive touchdowns in the second quarter to tie the game at 21-all with about four minutes to play before halftime, but Gorman responded with 14 quick points in the final 1:37 of the half for a 35-21 halftime lead.

Tate Martell has accounted for all five Gorman touchdowns, including a 63-yard scoring strike to Tyjon Lindsey with 47 seconds remaining before halftime. Lindsey, Austin Arnold and Cordell Broadus had touchdown receptions for Gorman in the first quarter to build a quick 21-7 lead, as Martell threw touchdowns on his initial three passes.

Just when it appeared Gorman would win by lopsided fashion, Reed’s offense found its rhythm. It picked up crucial first downs, eventually score a pair of touchdowns to even the game.

But undefeated Gorman, the nation’s No. 1 ranked team who could win the mythical national championship with a victory, flexed its muscle late. Running back Russell Booze powered a scoring drive with some hard runs to bring inside the Reed 5-yard line and Martell scored on a 2-yard quarterback keeper for a 28-21 lead.

After Gorman forced Reed to punt on three plays, Martell and Lindsey hooked up for a long touchdown pass to the 14-point halftime margin.

Keep everyone posted in the second half.

Pregame: Live Blog: Gorman football four quarters away from state, mythical national title

It’s early December and the Bishop Gorman High football team has another game to play.

It’s the 15th game of the season for the nation’s No. 1 ranked team, starting in August when games were contested in triple-digit Las Vegas heat and ending today in Reno in the Division I state championship game.

This state championship would come with a more significance. If Gorman can beat Reed High of Sparks for its sixth straight Nevada title, it would also be the national champions.

The Gaels have been ranked No. 1 in every national poll for the past month and would unofficially win the mythical national championship by disposing of Reed. The final rankings wouldn’t be voted on for about two weeks, but there’s no reason to think Gorman would be removed from the top spot.

They proved themselves early in the season by beating six teams with a national pedigree, eventually skyrocketing to the top spot of every ranking. It’s been a long season for players, longer than college football, but the fruits of their labor should be rewarded this afternoon in Reno.

“We started before college football. We are ending with the 15th game in 16 weeks,” Gorman coach Tony Sanchez said. “No team on any level does that.”

Sanchez keeps players fresh by switching up practice routines. He also puts an emphasis on weight training in-season so players maintain their fitness level.

He’s a master of finding ways to motivate players, even when the opponent on the schedule appears to be an easy victory. Gorman has received little push back the past eight games against local competition, trailing just once and outscoring opponents 473-26.

It should face a similar fate against Reed, who Gorman has outscored 231-87 in four state playoff games the past five seasons.

Just don’t tell Sanchez to Reed will be a pushover. Gorman arrived in Reno Thursday night to put the finishing touches on its preparation — a routine they’ve mastered the past five months. Gorman’s long haul has four quarters left. It’s the most significant four quarters in the storied program’s history.

“At the end of the day, the accomplishment is pretty darn important for the state of Nevada,” Sanchez said. “Having a national title team would be pretty special.”

Talk with everyone once the game begins. Join the conversation on Twitter using #sunstandout or #702hsfb.

Ray Brewer can be reached at 702-990-2662 or [email protected]. Follow Ray on Twitter at twitter.com/raybrewer21

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