Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun
Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014 | 1:05 a.m.
Las Vegas Sun sports reporters Ray Brewer and Case Keefer go all around the valley on this week's podcast, mentioning a couple surprise 2-0 teams along with usual conversation on powers like Bishop Gorman and Liberty. They also dive deep into this weekend's stacked schedule, which includes Las Vegas visiting Palo Verde and a showdown between two of Division 1A's best running backs in Mojave's Ty Flanagan and Sierra Vista's Maleik Broady.
This wasn’t the first time Bishop Gorman High sophomore quarterback Tate Martell made a play when it appeared he was going to be sacked.
And it definitely wasn’t the first time he hooked up with wide receiver Tyjon Lindsey for a long touchdown.
They’ve been teammates since seventh grade, having a familiarity with each other that sure made one play look routine Friday night in Gorman’s 41-10 victory against visiting Santa Margarita of California.
Martell was pressured by the Santa Margarita defense and nearly sacked inside the Gorman 10-yard line. But he broke tackles, quickly scampered past more rushing defenders and let heave a perfect spiral downfield.
The ball traveled more than 50 yards in the air to find Lindsey in stride behind the defense. He caught the ball without breaking his run and raced untouched for a 7-0 Gorman lead.
“We needed something to happen. We had a few drives stall,” Martell said. “I said, ‘You know what, I’m going to make something happen.’ I came back around and found Tyjon streaking down the field.”
Martell and Lindsey have been teammates since their youth football days in Poway, Calif. They transferred to Gorman during the summer, instantly making an impact with the Gaels’ nationally ranked team. The Martells are Lindsey’s legal guardians.
“(Tyjon) knows what to do and how to get open,” Martell said. “It is just natural. It’s not the first time I have done that with Tyjon. We have that special little bond.”
It wasn’t the only time they hooked up against Santa Margarita. On Gorman’s next possession, after Santa Margarita evened the score at 7, Martell connected with Lindsey for a 48-yard scoring strike. Lindsey again was wide open.
Martell passed for three first-half touchdowns, also finding Cordell Broadus for a 27-yard touchdown strike in the second quarter.
Martell, a University of Washington commit, didn’t become Gorman’s starter until the third week of the season. While he’s still becoming familiar with the offense, his skills are unquestioned. Each game, he seems to make a highlight-reel type of play.
Against Servite in the second game of the season, he came off the bench to pass for three touchdowns and help Gorman score 34 second-half points in a crucial road victory. His performance even caught the eye of Dana White, the UFC president and Gorman alumnus, who compared him to Johnny Manziel.
“That is pretty cool,” Martell said. “That is awesome for him to tweet about me and stuff.”
Gorman’s defense was equally impressive.
One week after surrendering 42 points to Centennial of Corona, Calif., Gorman kept high-powered Santa Margarita off the scoreboard. It was the bend, but don’t break philosophy against a team who last year had a record-setting passing day at Gorman’s expense.
While Santa Margarita quarterback K.J. Costello passed for nearly 300 yards, including double-digit completions to Kyle Sweet, Gorman stopped them from scoring. Last year, Costello threw for a school record 446 yards and Sweet caught 13 passes for a school record 294 yards.
Jabari Butler had the biggest defensive play of the night when he stripped the ball from a Santa Margarita wide receiver near the goal line midway through the first quarter and recovered the fumble in the end zone to give Gorman a crucial turnover. A few plays later, Martell worked his scrambling magic to find Lindsey.
“Our kids have a lot of talent and they have a lot of moxie,” Gorman coach Tony Sanchez said of the defense. “After last week, they were a little disappointed in their effort. They were determined to come out and play a great game, and that is what they did.”
Gorman’s rushing attack dominated the second half. Russell Booze had touchdown runs of 13 and 82 yards, and Jonathan Shumaker broke loose for a 33-yard touchdown.
Gorman (5-0) won’t have much time to enjoy the win. Next week, it hosts St. John Bosco of California in a battle of the top two teams in USA Today’s rankings. It’s an ESPNU televised game and could determine the mythical national champion.
“It is going to be two great football teams getting after each other,” Sanchez said. “We’ll be ready to go.”