Only two spots separate Bishop Gorman and Arbor View in the latest Class 4A football coaches poll.
The gap on the field was far wider on Friday night.
The top-ranked Gaels scored on seven of their first eight possessions on the way to a 56-7 homecoming win over third-ranked Arbor View.
“Our plan was to go out and start fast and end strong,” Gorman junior quarterback Jarrett Solomon said.
He and his teammates did just that. Solomon completed his first four passes in helping lead the Gaels (10-1) to touchdown drives on their first two possessions. Shaquille Powell capped the drives with touchdown runs of 8 yards and 1 yard as Gorman went up 14-0.
Powell looked to be stopped in the backfield on the first touchdown run, but he spun away from a defender and cut inside to score.
Arbor View (7-2) had a chance to steal momentum on the ensuing drive, as the Aggies drove the ball inside the Gorman 20, but came up inches short on fourth-and-4.
Powell then ripped off a 73-yard TD run on the second play of the ensuing drive, and it was all Gorman from there.
Solomon took the baton from Powell after that, throwing four TD passes. He completed 15 of 20 passes for 292 yards.
“The thing is, they had nine in the box, so we can’t pick that up for the run game,” Solomon said. “So the team depended on me with the passing game.”
After the Gaels missed a field goal on their fourth series, Solomon led the Gaels on a 72-yard drive, capped by a 10-yard TD pass to Joshua Hawks that helped the Gaels take a 28-0 lead at the break.
Solomon tossed three touchdown passes in the third quarter, hooking up with Jamir Tillman on a 30-yard score, hitting Ryan Smith with a 50-yard TD pass and connecting with Terrence Chambers for a 54-yard scoring pass.
“Solomon’s a great football player,” Gorman coach Tony Sanchez said. “He really showed his muster tonight.
“Jarrett’s one of the best quarterbacks in the country. When it’s all said and done, he’s going to be one of the best that’s ever played in this state.”
As good as Solomon was, Gorman’s defense might have stolen the show. Arbor View and its double-wing offense came into the game averaging 312.8 yards rushing and 38 points.
But the Gaels made it difficult for Arbor View to get its running game going, and the Aggies finished with 156 yards rushing.
“I was really proud of the way our defense played,” Sanchez said. “It’s tough to try to stop that offense. Our guys did a great job shutting it down.”
Arbor View, which had attempted only 47 passes entering the game, was forced to throw the ball 18 times. The team’s biggest highlight came when backup quarterback Rasheem Parks hit brother Rasheed Parks with a 56-yard scoring pass in the third quarter.
“When you force a team like that to throw the ball, you’re probably going to win the ballgame,”
Sanchez said. “I’m sure they don’t invest a lot of time in throwing the ball. Their thing is running the ball and running it at you. When you don’t invest that much time in the passing game, it’s hard to go out and execute when you’re forced to do that.”
Powell finished with 109 yards on 10 carries, and Tillman caught six passes for 94 yards.
Rasheem Parks passed for 111 yards, all in the second half.
“This is one of our biggest wins of the year,” Sanchez said. “We put those guys up there with some of those big teams we played from out of state.”