Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016 | 10:09 p.m.
Las Vegas Sun sports editors Ray Brewer and Case Keefer talk about the Division 3A kickers, Bishop Gorman's (tougher) path to the state championship and barefooted kickers.
The Bishop Gorman High football team hasn’t surrendered a point in three weeks. Most games, they barely surrender a first down.
The two-time defending national champions and nation’s No. 1 ranked team continued its dominance today with a 56-0 victory against visiting Durango. That’s three straight shutouts for the Gaels, who surrendered just one first down for the third straight week.
They haven’t lost to a local foe since 2008 in winning seven consecutive state titles and have feasted this fall against inferior opponents in the Southwest League. Many label the Southwest as Nevada’s worst division in the large-school classification, with the Gaels usually winning by the mercy rule of the running clock, trigged with a 35-point lead, midway through the second quarter.
Yet, for all of Gorman’s wins against national opponents to open the season, it’s next Friday against Sierra Vista that provides the initial chance for the powerhouse program to accomplish one of its goals for the season. Gorman and Sierra Vista are the area’s lone undefeated teams, and the winner claims the Southwest league championship.
“We are going to be fired up for next week, I will be honest,” Gorman coach Kenny Sanchez said. “We are playing for a league championship. Anytime you can play for a championship, that’s something to be excited about.”
Sure, Sierra Vista last week narrowly beat Durango by seven points. And, sure, Sierra Vista only beat Bonanza by four points and Clark by 11. Sanchez, though, isn’t overlooking the opponent.
“I don’t care who you have played. If you are undefeated (at this stage of the season), you are a good football team,” Sanchez said. “How many teams are undefeated in the valley?”
Gorman held Durango to minus-20 yards in the first half in building a 35-0 halftime lead. If it wasn’t for a 25-yard run for a first down with 4:23 remaining in the third quarter by Alhaji Kamara and a 15-yard late-hit penalty added to the play, Durango may finished with negative yards.
That sequence gave Durango the ball inside Gorman’s 20-yard line, threatening the Gaels with giving up a touchdown for the first time since Oct. 7. But Gorman forced a turnover on downs.
“Our goal every game is for a shutout. You kind of reach for the impossible, because those things are so tough to come by,” Sanchez said.
Bubba Bolden had a 38-yard interception return for Gorman to extend its lead to 42-0. Defensive lineman Haskell Garrett also had an interception in the first quarter.
Offensively, Biaggio Ali-Walsh had about 130 rushing yards on 13 carries in the first half with a touchdown, and Tate Martell passed for touchdowns to Austin Arnold and Jalen Nailor.
The Gaels will quickly turn the page to the Sierra Vista game, which is also the regular season finale. From there, it’s on to the second goal for the season — an eighth straight state title. The last goal, of course, is another national championship.