Makoa Tyndall is accustomed to being able to ease into games.
Bishop Gorman’s junior backup quarterback generally doesn’t see much action until late in games and when the Gaels are comfortably ahead.
He had no such luxury Saturday.
Thrust into a starting role, Tyndall was solid, helping the Gaels to a 9-0 first-quarter lead on their way to a 40-0 win over McQueen in the Class 4A state championship game at Sam Boyd Stadium.
“I was a little stressed out this week,” Tyndall said. “I just concentrated on each snap, getting my feet right, making sure I looked the ball into the running back.”
Tyndall started in place of sophomore Jarrett Solomon, who was benched for the first quarter. Gorman coach Tony Sanchez said Solomon sat because he missed a practice due to “a school issue.”
Tyndall led the Gaels on a six-play, 35-yard drive to begin the game. It didn’t lead to points, but it did allow Gorman to pin the Lancers deep and eventually collect a safety.
On the ensuing drive, Tyndall engineered a seven-play, 42-yard march that ended with a 6-yard touchdown run by Jordan Welte that gave the Gaels a 9-0 lead.
“He picked it up really good,” Solomon said. “He went out there and executed in the first quarter.”
Tyndall’s 9-yard run after a high shotgun snap on a third-and-7 play from the McQueen 15-yard line kept alive the drive.
“For him to come in and orchestrate the first touchdown drive is fantastic,” Sanchez said.
Especially after how practice went the day before. In Friday’s walk-through, Tyndall fumbled the first snap.
“I got on him like I always do,” Sanchez said. “Everybody was waiting for me to tell him it was going to be OK, and I said, ‘No, it’s not going to be OK. It’s going to be horrible if you do that in a game.’ ”
Said Tyndall: “After I got my first couple of snaps in, I was good.”
Before giving way to Solomon at the start of the second quarter, Tyndall slapped hands with the Gaels starter and left him with words of encouragement.
“He kind of told me to do work,” Solomon said. “He told me to do good on every play.”
Solomon tossed three touchdown passes, leading the Gaels to four touchdowns and a field goal before giving way to Tyndall for the final drive of the game, which ended with Tyndall taking a knee at the McQueen 20.
Tyndall finished 5 of 7 passing for 29 yards and had the one carry for 9 yards.
“It feels amazing,” Tyndall said. “Back-to-back state championships is huge.”