It took longer than they would have hoped, but Bishop Gorman’s football team finally got going. And when it did, it was hard to stop.
After a first quarter without a first down, a defensive touchdown jump-started the No. 12 Gaels, then a 50-yard bomb got the offense going on the way to a commanding 34-7 home win over No. 6 De La Salle (California) on Saturday.
“That was the toughest four games I’ve ever seen a high school football team play. Ever,” Gorman coach Kenny Sanchez said. “And the fourth game, they had the best game. That speaks volumes for a team that their fourth game after two losses in a row, they played their best game of the four.”
Saturday’s win was the end of a gauntlet for the Gaels (2-2). They opened with a win to then-No. 6 DeMatha Cathoic (Maryland), lost on the road to No. 1 Mater Dei (California), and lost to then-No. 16 Miami Central.
Saturday’s game looked early like it would be more like the latter two than the first one.
“The last two games we weren’t playing Bishop Gorman football,” tight end Brevin Jordan said. “This game we came out and played Bishop Gorman football.”
On the first series of the second quarter, De La Salle was driving with a 7-0 lead when Gorman lineman Isaac Tuia forced a fumble that teammate Adam Plant recovered and returned 39 yards to even the game. Gorman got the ball back quickly and from that point onward, was the team the home crowd expected it to be.
On what wasn’t supposed to be a deep ball, Gaels quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson faced pressure and scrambled to his right. He spotted wide receiver Jalen Nailor behind the defense and threw across his body and into Nailor’s waiting arms in the end zone for the 50-yard score and a 14-7 lead.
“I almost dropped it though, but as long as I catch it, it’s fine,” Nailor said. “I’m feeling good now that we got that ‘W.’ “
With all the momentum on the Gaels’ sideline, they rumbled down the field on the next series when Thompson-Robinson scrambled and lost his helmet, forcing him to sit out a play. Not missing a beat, sophomore Micah Bowens replaced him and threw a perfect fade to Jordan for an 11-yard touchdown and a 21-7 halftime lead.
“I went to my coach and said ‘throw me the fade,’ so I knew it was coming,” Jordan said.
Jordan was a monster, catching six passes for 128 yards and a score. Nailor caught four passes for 65 yards and a touchdown, and added a 30-yard completion to Jordan on a double pass. Running back Amod Cianelli had a 5-yard touchdown run, and kicker Derek Ng drilled field goals of 30 and 37 yards.
Gorman forced two fumbles, and Kyu Kelly intercepted a pass.
“We’ve got a long season to go, we’ve got the playoffs, a state title to win, I feel great,” Sanchez said. “You’re only as good as your next game, baby.”