Friday, Aug. 24, 2018 | 11:40 p.m.
It was just one game. There will be another tough opponent to prove themselves against next week, and the week after.
Yes, the Bishop Gorman High football team suffered a humbling defeat by the mercy rule of the running clock, 42-0, on Friday against visiting Mater Dei of California.
Yes, the beatdown was on national television. And, yes, there is some embarrassment — any team that loses in this fashion is certainly not heading home full of pride, especially when that team is the nine-time defending state champion and nationally ranked.
Many people expected third-ranked Mater Dei to beat Gorman, just like it did last year to snap the Gaels' 55-game winning streak. Few saw a defeat like this — Gorman couldn’t establish its rushing attack, its defense surrendered long touchdowns and the game ended early because of the blowout clause.
When one team is ahead by 35 or more points, the clock is run without stopping until there’s no time remaining. It’s how many Gorman games have ended over the years, just with the Gaels in the lead.
“We have 24 hours to get over it,” Gorman coach Kenny Sanchez said. “That happened. That’s not going to get erased.”
Gorman kept the game close in the first half thanks to forcing a pair of turnovers, including an interception from Lincoln Tuioti-Mariner. But Gorman couldn’t capitalize, including turning the ball over on downs inside the Mater Dei 5-yard line late in the first half while trailing by just two touchdowns.
Convert the fourth-down play, where a wide receiver pass on a reverse was slightly overthrown, and it’s a different second half.
Instead, Mater Dei’s Sean Dollars had a pair of long touchdown receptions, helping USC committed quarterback Bryce Young account for five touchdowns.
“There’s a couple things earlier in the game and later in the game that could have been momentum swings,” Sanchez said.
Gorman’s offense couldn’t find its rhythm and accounted for just 150 yards. Junior quarterback Micah Bowens had about 30 rushing yards and 100 passing yards, but spent most of the night fighting keep a play alive. Rome Odunze caught five passes.
“We’re not 42 points worse than that team,” Sanchez said. “We looked sloppy. Too many penalties. That’s a bad job by me.”
The schedule won’t get much easier. Next week, Gorman plays at Centennial of Arizona. Utah’s Orem High and De La Salle from Northern California follow, which gives the Gaels plenty of chances for redemption.
It will also give them the experience against quality competition that’s needed in the quest for a 10th straight championship.