Friday, Sept. 8, 2017 | 11:59 p.m.
Las Vegas Sun's Ray Brewer and Case Keefer go over one of the craziest weeks ever in high school football locally. Which upsets were legitimate and which ones were truly out of the ordinary?
The desperation pass into the endzone sailed out of bounds and the clock ticked down to three zeroes to signal a rarity for the Bishop Gorman High football program.
The Gaels lost Friday to visiting Miami Central, 24-20, for their second consecutive defeat, marking the first time the national power has dropped consecutive games since 2005.
When the players took a knee around coach Kenny Sanchez for a postgame talk, the look on their faces told the story — they hung their heads in the disappointment of having a losing record at 1-2 through three games.
Sanchez delivered a powerful speech, telling them there is plenty of football left to play in the season and, more important, a state championship to win. He told them how proud he was of their effort, stressing they’d get better starting the next day.
“We have to get back to work tomorrow morning,” Sanchez said. “That’s what winners do. Winners find a way. So do losers. Losers find a way to bail out; winners keep going.”
This, obviously, is uncharted waters for the three-time defending national champions. Last week, the Gaels had their 55-game losing streak snapped at Mater Dei. This week, they surrendered two long touchdowns runs to James Cook in falling to the Florida school.
But they weren’t blown out. And, the teams they lost to were each nationally ranked. Mater Dei, in fact, was ranked No. 1. While there’s no debating Gorman is struggling, the fact that they have overcome double-digit deficits and had a chance to win in the fourth quarter the past two weeks is telling for Sanchez.
“We will always be in (the game) in the fourth quarter,” he said.
Gorman’s initial two touchdowns came on long passes from Dorian Thompson-Robinson to Jalen Nailor. Thompson-Robinson was knocked out of the game in the final two minutes, and backup Micah Bowens connected on a 17-yard touchdown pass to Brevin Jordan with nine seconds remaining to trim the deficit to four points.
Cedric Tillman recovered the onside kick for Gorman to give the Gaels one last chance from near midfield. Bowens’ pass had too much air on it, marking an ending unlike others over the past three seasons — it was team on the visitors sideline doing the celebrating.
Gorman players will get another crack at a national opponent next Saturday when California power De La Salle comes to town. Then, it’s on to local play where it will be playing for a ninth straight state title.
“We are playing good football teams. Let’s give those guys credit,” Sanchez said. “We aren’t sitting here and saying we are really bad, and we played really horribly and that’s not a good team. We knew this when we put this schedule together.”