Top-ranked Bishop Gorman had already clinched the No. 1 seed in the Southwest League before hosting Clark on Thursday in the regular-season finale.
But the Gaels didn’t look like a team taking the night off.
Shaquille Powell rushed for three touchdowns and Victor Belen added another as both surpassed the 1,000 rushing yards mark for the season as they powered top-ranked Gorman to a 61-0 romp of the Chargers.
Gorman coach Tony Sanchez said he was happy his running back tandem could surpass the 1,000-yard mark while the offense did a little fine-tuning for the playoffs.
“That was nice. We weren’t trying to get it but we were hoping they would get it and they did,” Sanchez said. “The last two weeks we have been really trying to work the whole package on offense. We have really been able to spread it out on offense.”
Powell led the way against Clark (5-5, 3-5 Southwest), rushing for 164 yards on a mere eight carries, including 45-, 21- and 33-yard scoring runs. Belen chipped in three carries for 70 yards, including a 49-yard touchdown.
Powell finished the regular season with 1,011 rushing yards and Belen tallied 1,013.
“That’s my brother right there,” Belen said of Powell. ”I’m so happy for him. I’m happy to have him there to back me up so well.”
Despite playing a game that would have no effect on the Southwest League standings, the Gaels remain focused every week, Powell said.
“We don’t go into any game trying to take it easy,” he added. “We make sure we execute every play. We practice hard. We don’t take a day off at all.”
Gorman (10-0, 8-0) seemed to be firing on all cylinders Thursday. Jarrett Solomon — who finished the season with more than 1,300 passing yards — threw touchdown passes of 48 and 19 yards for the Gaels.
Gorman’s defense, which recorded its sixth shutout of the year, opened the scoring when Ian Bobeck scooped a Clark fumble and returned it 20 yards for a touchdown on the third play of the game.
Jelani Walls also scored for the Gaels’ defense, taking a fumble 61 yards for a score in the fourth quarter. Gorman held the Chargers to 112 yards of offense in the game and forced four turnovers.
Gorman hosts Cheyenne next Friday in the first round of the Sunset Region playoffs. Despite the Gaels running roughshod past its division opponents, Sanchez said his team is ready to make a run at a state championship.
“We are ready for the big games,” Sanchez said. “Our staff has been in lot of big games. We have a lot of kids on this team who have won a state championship.
“We know every quarter is about to get a lot tougher. But we know our kids are ready for the challenge. We have a lot of energy, and we are focused and ready to go.”