All that talk about the regression of Bishop Gorman’s defense after Durango hung 34 points on the Gaels last week was merely hogwash.
The nine-time defending state champions enjoyed senior night on Thursday by pounding visiting Spring Valley, 63-13.
Gorman’s defensive front was a wall, limiting the Grizzlies to just 40 yards rushing one week after Durango quarterback Kaden Renshaw rushed for 45 on his own.
“I thought our starters last week played really good,” Gorman coach Kenny Sanchez said. “And I thought this week we played really well again. Collectively, we played better. The whole unit and the depth chart played better. A little better with the deep ball, but still not perfect.”
Amod Cianelli and Ikaika Ragsdale led an overpowering rushing attack that finished with 344 yards on 23 attempts for Gorman (6-3, 5-0 Southwest).
Cianelli ran for 148 yards and two touchdowns on nine attempts, and Ragsdale rumbled for 138 yards and pair of scores on seven attempts.
Quarterback Micah Bowens was 3 for 3 through the air for 94 yards, and a pair of touchdown to Blaze Boudreau and Rome Odunze on the game’s first play — a 62-yard strike.
Spring Valley quarterback Frank Bartley completed 10 of 16 pass attempts for 122 yards and two touchdowns and added 43 yards rushing. Receivers Marco Godinez and Pharohyce Boone each had a touchdown.
But Gorman’s tenacity and pressure into the backfield was relentless. The Gaels dropped Spring Valley (2-7, 1-4) for a loss on 10 of 37 offensive plays.
“They came out strong, they came out to play,” senior Kyu Kelly said of the Grizzlies. “It was good for us to get a taste in our mouths that teams aren’t scared of us.”
Despite the Gaels distancing themselves from five local foes by an average of 40.8 points per victory, Sanchez said he’s seen competitiveness in the opposition all season and doesn’t believe any teams are scared of Gorman.
“I don’t know why you would anyways, coaches and players are gonna be competitive,” Sanchez said. “You should just keep going until somebody tells you can’t go no more.
“I think all around our league is better. Durango’s a lot better. Spring Valley, Coach Teal is doing a great job. You can see a mass improvement from each team, I’ve noticed it.”
Which might be why he was a bit harsh of his final assessment on Gorman’s defense on Thursday.
“I give us a B-minus,” Sanchez said. “Cause they scored twice.”