I’ve been apologizing to the guys at Nevadapreps for being late all week, but I was delayed for a good cause.
It took me a few extra days to get out of the parking lot at Bishop Gorman after the Gaels’ win last week over Palo Verde.
Better late than never, and I’m ready for state, with a Class 4A semifinal at 1 p.m. Saturday at Rancho.
There’s no presale on tickets for this game, so make sure to get there by 11 a.m., or you might be left out in the cold. Or at least what passes for cold in Las Vegas — and I’m not talking about the hill at Palo Verde.
The winner of this game heads north to take on the winner between Carson and Reed at Damonte Ranch next week. If you think it’s frigid Saturday, wait until you see the snow on the ground in Reno.
Better take an extra jacket.
Bishop Gorman (14-1) vs. Liberty (11-1) — You know the Patriots have been waiting for a shot at knocking off the Gaels all year.
Liberty didn’t get to play Gorman last season, missing out on the game after losing in a blizzard at McQueen. But coach Rich Muraco’s team would love to have an opportunity to play in the snow again — because it means a trip to the state final.
Fullback Jordan Kapeli picked up the slack last week against Foothill, which did a good job of slowing little brother Niko. And when Kapeli wasn’t up to the task, Kai Nacua made the big plays.
Those three all will need to be in top shape for Liberty to hang close.
So will Liberty’s defense, which relies on many of the team’s offensive stars.
Gorman has a pretty good running back in Shaquille Powell. And the passing tandem of Jarrett Solomon to Ryan Smith keeps teams from stacking the box.
Add in Nathan Starks, who had two touchdowns against Palo Verde, and the Gaels are taking long strides toward another state championship.
Two backs and a quarterback make Liberty tough to defeat.
But the Gaels’ passing game seals the deal … Gorman by 24.
Last week: 4-0 (overall), 3-1 (with points).
Season: 70-19 (overall), 52-35-2 (with points).