Published Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016 | 2 a.m.
Updated Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016 | 4:47 p.m.
Las Vegas Sun sports editors Ray Brewer and Case Keefer discuss Bishop Gorman and Liberty playing for the state championship for a second consecutive year, and attempt to set a point spread on the game.
The Bishop Gorman High football team won its eighth straight state championship today, using five total touchdowns from senior quarterback Tate Martell in a 84-8 victory against Liberty at Sam Boyd Stadium.
Gorman, the nation’s No. 1-ranked team, took the lead for good just 59 seconds into the game and never trailed. It scored more than 50 points in the first half against No. 21-ranked Liberty, building its resume to likely include a third straight mythical national championship. Voters will determine the national rankings in a few weeks.
Martell rushed for three touchdowns and passed for two more. Biaggio Ali-Walsh rushed for a pair of touchdowns, Jalen Nailor caught two touchdowns, and Gorman’s defense recorded four interceptions (one for a touchdown) and scored on a fumble recovery.
Junior quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson was equally impressive when replacing Martell in the second half by rushing and passing for a touchdown.
Gorman rolling Liberty, up 56-8 at halftime
It’s just halftime, but it’s safe to assume the Bishop Gorman High football team has the state championship locked up.
The seven-time defending state champion Gaels scored twice in the final two minutes of the half to extend its lead to 56-8 against Liberty at Sam Boyd Stadium.
Tate Martell, who had five total first-half touchdowns, connected with Jalen Nailor for a 31-yard touchdown reception with 1:26 to play before halftime. About 40 seconds earlier, Martell scored on a 18-yard touchdown run.
Liberty’s lone points came on a fourth-down play when Kenyon Oblad connected with Darin Acohido for a 3-yard touchdown and Ethan Dedeaux added on the 2-point conversion. But Oblad has been intercepted three times, including on the game’s first play.
Gorman, the nation’s No. 1-ranked team, will likely win a third straight mythical national championship with the win — especially considering the lopsided score. Liberty entered ranked 21st nationally by USA Today.
Gorman builds lead to 42-0 against Liberty
Tate Martell’s third touchdown of the game, a 9-yard run, has given the Bishop Gorman High football team a 42-0 lead against Liberty in the high school football state championship game at Sam Boyd Stadium.
Martell has two touchdown runs and a touchdown pass, and Biaggio Ali-Walsh has a pair of scoring runs for the seven-time defending state champion Gaels.
Gorman making quick work of Liberty in first quarter
The Bishop Gorman High football team has run just 11 plays. Yet, it comfortably leads Liberty 28-0 in the large-school Nevada high school football state championship with three minutes left in the first quarter.
The latest Gorman touchdown came when Austin Arnold scooped up a errant snap over the head of Liberty quarterback Kenyon Oblad for a touchdown.
Quarterback Tate Martell has accounted for two touchdowns for the Gaels, a 39-yard touchdown run and 12-yard scoring strike to Brevin Jordan. Biaggio Ali-Walsh has Gorman’s other points on a 9-yard run.
Liberty has crossed midfield just once, but had to turn the ball over on downs.
The mercy rule of a running clock begins with a 35-point lead — if both coaches agree.
Gorman scores 59 seconds into game after interception
That was quick.
We are just four plays into the Nevada large-school state championship high school football game and seven-time defending champion Bishop Gorman already has a 7-0 lead on a 9-yard Biaggio Ali-Walsh touchdown run.
Gorman’s Gregory Oliver intercepted Liberty’s Kenyon Oblad on the first play from scrimmage to give Gorman the ball at the Liberty 36. Three plays later and Ali-Walsh scored the first touchdown just 59 seconds into the game.
Gorman extended its lead to 14-0 on a Tate Martell 9-yard touchdown pass to Brevin Jordan, taking advantage of another short field to easily move the ball on the Liberty defense.
Liberty hasn’t gained a yard in four plays; Gorman has two touchdowns. There’s still 8:50 to play in the first quarter.
Liberty stands in Gorman’s way of a third national title
If there was any doubt of the quality of high school football in Southern Nevada, consider the following: How many other states feature a matchup of nationally ranked opponents in the state championship game?
Bishop Gorman High, ranked No. 1 nationally, is playing No. 21 Liberty at 12:10 p.m. today at Sam Boyd Stadium for its eighth straight state championship. A win would likely also secure a third-straight national championship for the Gaels.
As we count down to kickoff, here are three keys to victories for each team in the rematch of last season's championship game. I’ll keep everyone posted once the game begins. You can also join the conversation on Twitter using #702hsfb or #sunstandout.
1. Run to win: Gorman rushed for 360 yards in last year’s state game against Liberty, including long scoring runs from Biaggio Ali-Walsh where he appeared to be virtually untouched. Gorman is bigger and stronger in the trenches, which should translate into success in the running game. Ali-Walsh should have a monster day.
2. Secondary on alert: The play of Gorman’s secondary, led by safety Bubba Bolden and defensive back Alex Perry, will determine the outcome. Liberty has a pair of 1,000-yard receivers in Darion Acohido and Ethan Dedeaux who will keep Gorman’s defenders busy.
3. Don’t overlook the opponent: Gorman has beat most local teams by a lopsided score during its eight-year dominance. Many predict they’ll defeat Liberty by five or more touchdowns. By no means, though, should Gorman players let their guard down. Liberty is a ranked opponent capable of pulling off the upset.
1. Don’t be overwhelmed: It’s one thing to say you’re not going to back down against Gorman. It’s another to follow through on those claims. Liberty’s players and coaches have said all week they can play with seven-time defending state champions and won’t be mentally defeated before kickoff. Time will tell how they respond once the game begins.
2. Limit turnovers, mistakes: You can’t beat Gorman by turning the ball over or committing penalties. In a way, you have to play the perfect game and hope Gorman isn’t at its best. The nation’s best team surely doesn’t need any help.
3. Give Oblad time to pass: Pass protection will be critical for the Patriots. If Kenyon Oblad, who passed for more than 3,000 yards this season, has time to throw, Liberty has the wide receiver weapons to score points. But if he’s pressured into bad throws or sacked, it’s going to be a replay of the past two meetings between the schools.