Friday, Nov. 18, 2016 | 10:57 p.m.
Las Vegas Sun sports editors Ray Brewer and Case Keefer discuss each of the seven Southern Nevada high school football teams still playing this late in the season.
It was only a matter of time until Bishop Gorman High football coaches called for this trick play.
That’s what happens when your starting wide receiver is your backup quarterback. Actually, junior Dorian Thompson-Robinson is more than a backup — he’s one of the top quarterback prospects nationally for the class of 2018 with scholarship offers from a who’s who of programs.
So, with Gorman pulling away from Faith Lutheran tonight in the second quarter of the Sunset Regional semifinals, Thompson-Robinson executed a double pass to put the Gaels in position for one of their five second-quarter touchdowns in a 58-10 victory.
“That was our first double pass of the year. Coach said he wanted to put it in this week,” Thompson-Robinson said.
Ohio State verbal commit Tate Martell has been entrenched as Gorman’s starter the past three seasons, allowing the Gaels to move Thompson-Robinson to wide receiver for the season.
Sooner or later, the playbook was going to call for a trick play. Martell completed a pass behind the line of scrimmage to Thompson-Robinson, who hurled it down field to Austin Arnold. Arnold was stopped inside the 10-yard line, but Gorman quickly scored in advancing to their 10th straight Sunset Regional championship game next week against host Arbor View.
Thompson-Robinson caught a touchdown and rushed for another in the win, showing off his versatility and helping Gorman continue to make a statement to other Las Vegas-area schools. It hasn’t lost to a local foe since 2008.
The win against Faith Lutheran carried some extra significance because it was the final home game of the season. Gorman’s talented senior class — Bubba Bolden, Haskell Garrett, Farrell Hester, Alex Perry and Martell, to name a few — haven’t lost a home game in their three-year stint on the varsity squad.
And if Gorman wins the next two weeks to secure an eighth straight state championship, they’d likely by voted for a third straight national title. Those seniors have been full-time players each season.
“When it is all said and done, if we get this thing done, they will be the greatest class in the history of Nevada high school football,” Gorman coach Kenny Sanchez said.
Arnold had a pair of touchdown receptions in Gorman’s second-quarter outburst, Garrett recorded a safety, and Biaggio Ali-Walsh scored the second of his two touchdowns for the game.
While the second half was played under the mercy rule of the running clock, Faith Lutheran had some positive plays to build from in the offseason. Christian Marshall scored on a 16-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter and junior Elijah Kothe had nearly 100 receiving yards.
It caps a strong initial season in the large-school classification for the Crusaders, who finished 6-5 overall. They took second in the Northwest League — arguably the toughest league in town — and won a playoff game.
But, like the other teams in town, chasing down Gorman won’t be easy. Arbor View will get the next crack in a rematch of last season’s Sunset championship game.
“You will have to play tough man football,” Sanchez said of facing Arbor View’s misdirection rushing attack. “They won’t waver from what they do.”