Last year, Bishop Gorman spotted visiting De La Salle a seven-point lead before scoring 34 unanswered points en route to victory.
On Friday, the Spartans returned the favor on their field.
After falling behind 14-7 with 4 minutes, 18 seconds left in the third quarter, De La Salle scored 20 consecutive points and held on to defeat the Gaels, 27-21.
“I just thought we played really bad in the third quarter, other than that we played really good,” said Gorman coach Kenny Sanchez, whose team fell to 1-3. “It’s hard to find positives when you lose, but as young as we are and how we started this season, and where we are now, we played four really good teams and traveled out of state twice.
“It’s a process and you gotta see later on down the road what we’re trying to do,” Sanchez added. “We’re building a team that’s trying to win a state championship, not win a non-conference game. It’s a tough road to climb.”
Turnovers on three straight possessions and outstanding play from De La Salle’s highly-touted linebacker Henry Tootoo limited Gorman’s options as the Spartans pulled away.
After Donovan Smith found Micah Bowens for a 58-yard trick play that gave the Gaels a 14-7 lead, the Spartans, ranked No. 11 in the nation by USA Today, went to work.
De La Salle needed just three plays to tie the game as Shamar Garrett rushed for a 26 -yard touchdown with 3:18 left in the third quarter. The Spartans forced Gorman to punt on its next possession, and two plays later To’oto’o rushed 55 yards for his second TD of the game.
Gorman commited turnovers on each of its next three possessions, and the Gaels’ seven-point lead turned into a 27-14 deficit.
“Obviously there’s a lot of resiliency with these kids, because we could easily be sitting at 3-1 right now,” Sanchez said.
Bowens completed 15 of 35 pass attempts for 180 yards and one touchdown and led the ground game with 74 yards on nine carries. Rome Odunze had nine catches for 111 yards, and Smith had three receptions for 20 yards and one touchdown.