Like many high school and college teams these days, Bishop Gorman players and coaches raise their hands and extend four fingers at the start of the fourth quarter to signify the importance of winning the final quarter of the game.
But after crushing Arbor View, 52-7, on Friday night at Fertitta Field to set up a Sunset Region final with old rival Palo Verde, the Gaels may want to add another digit on their hands for the start of the fourth quarter of Saturday afternoon’s championship game.
After all, Gorman is now playing for one for the thumb when it comes to winning consecutive state titles. And after Friday night’s impressive blowout, the Gaels are just two wins away from accomplishing that very impressive feat.
“I looked at a website the other night and it’s been 84 years since a large school team has won five in a row,” Bishop Gorman coach Tony Sanchez said. “It’s tough to do that.”
If any team is capable of doing it, it’s the Gaels (11-2), who scored on their first seven possessions of the game while building up a 45-7 lead before finally punting early in the fourth quarter.
Bishop Gorman dominated the line of scrimmage, rushing for 368 yards while holding Arbor View’s potent double-wing offense to 175 total yards and six first downs. Seventy-seven of those yards came on one play, a run by senior Jacob Speaks late in the second quarter that set up a 2-yard touchdown run by Sparks.
“We had one play where we messed up on that reverse there,” Sanchez said. “Other than that, we were phenomenal all night. We didn’t give up anything. It’s tough to hold those guys down and I thought our guys did a good job.”
Senior running back Daniel Stewart led the Gaels with 152 yards rushing and four touchdowns, including a 54-yarder to finish the scoring. Quarterback Randall Cunningham II completed 6-of-13 passes for 103 yards, including a 6-yard TD to tight end Alize Jones, and also rushed for 73 more yards. Junior Russell Booze rushed for 79 yards and a touchdown, sophomore Jonathan Shumaker had 64 yards rushing and a touchdown and Ramiz Ahmed added a 29-yard field goal for the Gaels, who led 31-7 at halftime and 45-7 after three quarters.
“Our kids are fired up,” Sanchez said. “We know it’s kind of a third season. We had the preseason, the league season and now this. I tell you what, our kids looked as good as they have all year. … I like where we’re at right now.”
Seniors Zack Singer and Nick Gates dominated on both sides of the line. Linebackers Chris Lalli and Nela Otukolo also had big games stuffing the Arbor View ground game.
“We take pride in running the football and being the most physical football team in town and we have been for five years,” Sanchez said. “We take pride in not being the fanciest team but being the most physical team in town. And we want to make sure we keep that going.”
Arbor View finishes the season at 8-3.