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September 20, 2018

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Bishop Gorman’s four-year win streak halted in California

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L.E. Baskow

Bishop Gorman head coach Kenny Sanchez confers with other coaches on the sideline during their game versus DeMatha of Maryland on Friday, August 25, 2017.

Updated Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017 | 12:30 a.m.

Prep Sports Now

Show up, ball out

Las Vegas Sun's Ray Brewer and Case Keefer toast all the area teams who defeated out of state competition in week 1, and look forward to an almost-as-loaded week 2 schedule.

Bishop Gorman’s historic 55-game winning streak met its demise Friday night in Santa Ana, Calif.

Mater Dei, the top-ranked high school football team in the nation, took down No. 2 Bishop Gorman, the three-time defending national champions, 35-21 in a game where it never trailed.

"I know it doesn't feel good," Bishop Gorman coach Kenny Sanchez said. "But it goes season by season, and to be honest, it never felt like we won 55 games in a row. When you get older, you get more mature and you realize it doesn't matter going into a new season. The 55 wins had no bearing on this team, because these kids didn't win 55 games in a row."

The Gaels managed more than 400 yards of offense, but most of the production came in a catch-up effort. The Monarchs moved the ball more smoothly from the start of the game, getting out to a 14-0 lead in the second quarter.

Bishop Gorman had no answer for Mater Dei junior quarterback J.T. Daniels, a USC commit, who threw for more than 300 yards with two touchdowns to no interceptions. Gorman senior quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson, a UCLA commit, had his moments and racked up more yards than Daniels but completed less than 50 percent of his passes and threw two interceptions.

"The obvious thing was our offensive line didn't play very well," Sanchez said. "I don't know how many sacks we gave up, but it was quite a few. Dorian was on his back too often."

Highly recruited Mater Dei cornerback Darion Green returned one of Thompson-Robinson’s interceptions for a touchdown to put his team ahead 28-7 less than a minute into the third quarter. The pick-six came right on the heels of Daniels' second touchdown pass.

Click to enlarge photo

Mater Dei receiver Nikko Remigio celebrates a touchdown catch against Bishop Gorman, Friday, Sept. 1, 2017.

"Giving up 14 points in two minutes against the No. 1 team in the country, you just can't do those things," Sanchez said.

Gorman eventually showed some of the spirit that had allowed to it to win every game since a 28-12 loss to Florida’s Booker T. Washington on Oct. 4, 2013.

Thompson-Robinson led consecutive scoring drives to open the fourth quarter, relying on a frequent connection with Cedric Tillman, who had seven catches for nearly 200 receiving yards. Junior running back Amod Cianelli punched in the first fourth-quarter score on a 4-yard rush before Thompson-Robinson connected with senior tight end Brevin Jordan for a 50-yard touchdown pass.

The Gaels’ sideline ignited with the score cut down to 28-21 with 8:45 to play.

"I always know our boys are going to be right there in the fourth quarter regardless of who we're playing," Sanchez said. "I wasn't surprised by that...it was just too little, too late."

Daniels showed poise in calming the Monarchs. Mater Dei scored in less than two minutes on a Glenn Harper touchdown run to all but end Gorman’s hopes of escaping with a 56th consecutive victory.

Gorman will still face two more national opponents at home — Miami Central next week and De La Salle in two weeks — before getting into its Nevada schedule where it will attempt to win a ninth straight state championship.

"The goal was never to win that many games in a row," Sanchez said. "It was always to go out and play as many of the best teams as possible, and we've done that. We've never hid from anyone."

Case Keefer can be reached at 702-948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at twitter.com/casekeefer.