STEPHEN SYLVANIE / SPECIAL TO THE SUN
Friday, Nov. 21, 2014 | 11:18 p.m.
Las Vegas Sun sports reporters Ray Brewer and Case Keefer break down the Division 1A championship game, Basic's back-to-back upsets and Arbor View's chances against Bishop Gorman.
A red cape should have replaced the traditional horns on Arbor View’s helmets Friday night.
In the football team’s first-ever appearance in the Sunset Region championship game, the Aggies were more toreros than bulls. Arbor View provoked the nation’s top-ranked team, and suffered gruesome consequences as a result.
Bishop Gorman trampled Arbor View 56-6 for its sixth straight region title.
“They were talking some smack about pushing us around,” senior defensive end Ryan Garrett said. “We took that personally.”
The carnage got so graphic that the game felt like it should have required a warning label. The Gaels exceeded the 45-point threshold to enact a running clock in the second half with two minutes to go in the second quarter.
They scored on their first seven possessions, only punting once with less than two minutes to go in the game. Gorman stuffed four fourth-down conversion attempts, holding Arbor View outside of its 40-yard line until the fourth quarter.
Gaels coach Tony Sanchez repeatedly challenged his team, and they repeatedly answered.
“I was really, really hard on the guys this week,” Sanchez said. “Some days you go home and hate being the bad guy all the time, but when you’re getting to the end of the season and you’ve had a lot of success, it’s real easy to take your foot off the pedal.”
Gorman floored it straight in the direction of Arbor View Friday. On the first play of the game, sophomore Tate Martell identified a corner blitz and winged a pass to wide-open senior tight end Alize Jones for a 69-yard touchdown.
Martell connected with Jones twice more in the first quarter — both for touchdowns.
“We made a conscious decision to make sure we game planned things for him,” Sanchez said of Jones. “He’s a special kid. I’ll tell you what: I’m going to be heartbroken the day he walks out of here.”
Jones caught five passes for 164 yards on the night. Martell completed eight of 12 attempts for 235 yards and four touchdowns, all of them coming in the opening 13 minutes of the game.
Gorman’s other touchdown in the span came when defensive linemen Haskell Garrett and Noah Tialavea leaked into the Arbor View backfield on a fourth-and-1 play to force a fumble. Ryan Garrett scooped the ball and ran 42 yards for a touchdown, his second score off a fumble recovery in two weeks.
“They’re a good team, a great program,” Ryan Garrett said. “They were trying to get to us but we’re a team and play as one, so I’m happy and proud of everyone.”
Arbor View had a few assorted bright moments with almost all of them involving senior Herman Gray, the city’s leading rusher. Gray broke one first-half run for 39 yards, and found the end zone on a nine-yard sweep in the fourth quarter.
In total, Gray managed 93 yards on 17 carries.
Gorman’s leading rusher was sophomore Biaggio Walsh, who had 47 yards and a touchdown on four carries. Senior Russell Booze also had a score to go with 36 yards on four attempts.
Senior Cordell Broadus and sophomore Austin Arnold added touchdown catches during the rout. Backup quarterback Danny Hong, a senior, completed each of his five passes for a total of 88 yards.
The Gaels were the team with their head down, charging forward to expose their horns Friday.
“It was just another team in our way that was trying to stop us from what we’re trying to accomplish,” Jones said. “And that’s winning a state championship and staying No. 1.”