Gaels lower Bengals’ average with shutout victory

Bonanza entered its home football game against Bishop Gorman on Thursday averaging 42 points per game.

But against the Gaels, the Bengals were silenced.

Gorman rolled to a 63-0 victory to stay perfect in the Southwest League and shut out its fourth straight opponent.

“We don’t really talk about shutouts. It’s not something we’re worried about,” Gorman coach Tony Sanchez said. “But it’s impressive for them to go out and play football like that. Everybody contributed to it.”

The Gaels (8-2, 7-0 Southwest) scored touchdowns on seven of their eight first-half possessions to build a 49-0 halftime lead.

Gorman has not lost a league game since 2006.

Gorman’s Jarrett Solomon passed for 98 yards and three TDs, all in the first half. The sophomore hooked up with Ryan Smith for scores of 3 and 53 yards, and found Jamir Tillman on a 3-yard TD strike.

“Jarrett came out a little sluggish, but when he gets in a rhythm, he’s pretty scary,” Sanchez said.

Freshman Nate Starks rushed for 102 yards and two TDs on five attempts for Gorman, and Justin Sweet added 95 yards and a TD on eight carries.

Gorman had eight ball carriers combine for 277 yards and five scores on 31 attempts.

And that was without leading rusher Shaquille Powell, who sat out with a hamstring injury. Sanchez hopes the junior can return for next week’s regular-season finale against visiting Durango.

“That hamstring is really taking a while, so we want to make sure (Powell is) 100 percent,” Sanchez said. “Right now, the offensive line and the backs are doing such a good job, there’s no reason to rush it.”

Gorman also played without senior defensive end Jalen Grimble, a Southern California commit who Sanchez said sat out with a hip-flexor injury that is “not a big issue.”

It didn’t matter, as the Bengals were shut out for the first time since a 72-0 loss at Gorman last season.

Gorman senior safety Evan Zeger, who has committed to Washington, returned a third-quarter interception 37 yards for a TD to cap the scoring.

Dasean Martin led Bonanza (4-5, 3-4) with four catches for 47 yards and 34 yards on 13 carries.

Bengals quarterback Sterling Sprau completed 11 of 28 passes for 87 yards with two interceptions.

“The defense did a great job,” Sanchez said. “(The Bengals) do a fantastic job of getting those guys lined up; they get in so many different formations, and their quarterback is the real deal. For our guys to come out and be as focused as they were early in the game, I was proud of them.”