Like many football coaches, Bishop Gorman’s Tony Sanchez has a laminated sheet of paper listing his team’s offensive plays.
He didn’t need it during the second half Friday.
Gorman tossed out its game plan and gained 206 of its 367 rushing yards in the final two quarters en route to a 42-9 victory over Crespi (Calif.).
“We came in at halftime and said, ‘The heck with all the fancy stuff. We’re going to run counter and power, and if they stop us they’re going to win the game,’ ” Sanchez said.
Russell Booze finished with 163 yards and a touchdown on eight carries, and Daniel Stewart added 117 yards rushing and three TDs for the Gaels (3-1), who will carry a three-game winning streak into next week’s showdown at Bergen Catholic (N.J.).
“We had a pep talk in the locker room, and I knew we would come out and display our power and size,” Booze said. “We were way bigger, and we dominated the line of scrimmage.”
Gorman overcame a sluggish start to score 42 unanswered points as Crespi struggled to move the ball after it fumbled deep in Gaels’ territory on its first drive. Celts starting quarterback Weston Massett played only the first two series and leading rusher Torrance Brumfield left with an ankle injury early in the second quarter.
Conor McMahan finished 9-for-20 for 132 yards and an interception in place of Massett.
“We need to improve our pass rush, but we’ve been solid against the run all year,” said Sanchez, whose defense allowed 79 yards on the ground. “I don’t think it’s the prettiest win we’ve ever had, but it’s a win.”
Gorman led 14-2 at halftime before Booze ignited the offense with a 75-yard scoring scamper on the third play of the third quarter to boost the Gaels’ lead to 21-2.
“We practiced that play all week,” Booze said. “I knew there would be a cutback lane. I saw the lane and just hit it.”
Three plays after Dylan Weldon picked off McMahan and returned it to the Celts’ 15-yard line, Randall Cunningham found tight end Alize Jones for a 9-yard score and a 28-2 advantage a little more than three minutes into the third quarter.
Stewart added a 3-yard touchdown run with 4:14 left in the third to cap a 21-point quarter by the Gaels. Obim Okeke tacked on a 2-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter for the Gaels.
Cunningham finished 9-for-16 for 115 yards with one touchdown and an interception. Jones had three catches for 38 yards with a recruiter from Georgia in attendance to watch him, and Terrence Chambers added two receptions for 43 yards for the Gaels.
Gorman fell behind 2-0 on its first play from scrimmage as Cunningham couldn’t handle a high snap and was forced to knock the ball out of the back of the end zone for a safety. But Stewart capped an 80-yard drive with a 12-yard TD run early in the second quarter and made it 14-2 when he powered in from 3 yards out one play after his 37-yard burst.
“I felt like we weren’t playing as a team at the beginning,” Booze said. “In the second half, we came out as a team and executed.”