Running game sparks top-ranked Gaels in blowout win

Bishop Gorman’s first drive against Cimarron-Memorial only lasted three plays and yielded just four yards.

It was the only time the No. 1-ranked Gaels looked pedestrian Friday night.

Gorman outgained the Spartans 273-15 in the first half, while rolling to a 35-0 halftime lead. From there, the Gaels cruised and handed No. 9-ranked Cimarron its first loss of the season, 56-7.

Gorman running back Daniel Stewart said getting an effective running game helped settle the offense back into its normal routine.

“In the beginning, I don’t think we were as focused as we should have been on those first couple of plays,” he said. “The run game is the start of everything when it comes to our offense. So once we got going into our groove, we were just going straight ahead.”

The straightforward approach led to the Gaels scoring on their next two drives of the first quarter, as Stewart capped both drives with TD runs of 1 and 8 yards for a 14-0 lead.

Gorman (6-2, 2-0 Southwest) finished the game with 391 rushing yards.

Russell Booze led the Gaels ground game with 107 yards on just eight carries, and had touchdown runs of 3 and 71 yards.

Booze said Cimarron got to experience one of Gorman’s favorite plays on his long scoring run.

“That is one of our main running plays. I just follow the pulling guard and run up the middle,” Booze said. “Because of our size, I think we are mainly a running team. I think we have the best quarterback in the state in Randall (Cunningham Jr.), but we just don’t have to pass that much.”

Cunningham threw a TD pass in the game, as his 14-yard scoring strike to Terrance Chambers in the second quarter extended the Gorman lead to 35-0.

Cunningham finished with 66 passing yards and 42 rushing yards in less than two quarters of play.

Gorman’s defense was also dominant. Cimarron (5-1, 1-1) came in averaging just more than 29 points a game this season, but was shut out until Michael Barnson’s 1-yard TD run with 36 seconds left in the third quarter.

Barnson finished with 130 yards and a touchdown on 27 carries to lead Cimarron.

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