Published Saturday, Nov. 28, 2015 | 4:08 p.m.
Updated Saturday, Nov. 28, 2015 | 7:26 p.m.
Biaggio Ali-Walsh rushed for four touchdowns today for the Bishop Gorman High football team in the state semifinals against host Reed of Northern Nevada, helping the Gaels to a 41-13 victory and spot in next week’s state championship game.
Alex Perry had arguably the most significant play for the Gaels, returning an interception 73 yards for a touchdown 15 seconds before halftime for a 27-6 Gorman advantage.
Reed scored the initial touchdown of the second half, but Gorman closed with 14 unanswered points courtesy of Ali-Walsh, its speedy junior running back.
Ali-Walsh extended the Gorman lead to four touchdowns with 3:12 remaining in the third quarter on a 47-yard touchdown run. The Gorman defense did the rest in holding Reed in check, especially Raiders quarterback Matt Denn. Denn entered with more than 1,000 rushing yards, but had minus-30 against Gorman.
Considering the field was muddy and wet, which caused a Gorman defender to slip for one of Reed's two touchdowns, coach Kenny Sanchez was pleased with how his defense performed. Last week, they beat Arbor View, which runs a wing. This week, they battled the elements and Reed's hurry-up, spread option attack.
"We did a good job keeping them under wraps," Gorman coach Kenny Sanchez said. "We did a good job of answering the challenge."
Gorman will face Liberty, which routed Basic 62-29 in the other state semifinal, at 12:10 p.m. next Saturday at Sam Boyd Stadium in the Division I state championship.
Gorman will be playing for a seventh consecutive state championship, two consecutive undefeated seasons and potentially another mythical national title. The 2014 national champs would enhance their national resume by beating Liberty, which is ranked by USA Today as one of the top teams in the region.
"We have to finish this thing off," Sanchez said. "Our boys have worked too hard to (slip-up in state championship game)."