44–0…Bishop Gorman too much for Brophy in Sollenberger

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                </div>  The Broncos could have stayed home and called this one in. Instead, Brophy Prep spent its travel money to load up the team and make the nearly 300-mile trek […]<!-- AddThis Sharing Buttons below -->
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The Broncos could have stayed home and called this one in.

Instead, Brophy Prep spent its travel money to load up the team and make the nearly 300-mile trek to Las Vegas to take a crack at the No. 1 high-school team in the nation.

The results weren’t pretty.  It was a game that was pretty much over by halftime, when the Gaels took to their locker room with a comfortable 30-0 lead.

Bishop Gorman, ranked by USA Today as the top prep team in the country, played host to Brophy Prep from Phoenix in the first game of the Sollenberger Kickoff Classic.  Mountain Pointe, another Division I team from Phoenix, took on Nevada’s Reed High School in the nightcap.  (That game will be covered in a separate post)

Mountain Pointe, which went undefeated last year and won the Division I state title, would have been a logical pick to take on Gorman, but the two teams played last year in the Sollenberger.  Mountain Pointe won that game to give the Gaels their third loss in the four times they have played in the Sollenberger.

Brophy and Gorman played the early game last night, but it’s the one that has attracted most of the media attention because of Gorman’s top spot in the national rankings and its high profile as one of the premier programs in the country the last few years.  The Gaels have won the last five big-school state championships in Nevada and have been nationally-ranked each of those years.

To be fair, Brophy didn’t ask to play the No. 1 team in the country.  The small Catholic school in central Phoenix just accepted an invitation to play in the Sollenberger Classic, which has been used to open the high-school football season for almost a decade now.  Their match-up against Gorman was, in large part, just the luck of the draw.

Brophy played Gorman once before in the Sollenberger, back in 2007.  The Broncos won that one.

But this is a different team, under the direction of a different head coach, Tony Sanchez, who has elevated the program from a dominant force in-state to a team that has earned a national reputation as a prep powerhouse. Sanchez has lost just five games since taking over in 2009.

And that hasn’t changed after last night’s game, as the Gaels used Brophy as its first stepping stone on the road to a national championship.  With Division I prospects at many of the key positions, and a six-game schedule with strong out-of-state programs to open its season, Gorman is positioning itself for that run at a national title.

Three of those early games are against nationally-ranked opponents, but Brophy was not one of those.  And the Broncos didn’t fool anybody sitting in the packed bleachers at Fertitta Field into thinking they were, as Gorman dominated from start to finish.

After fumbling the ball away on the first play of the game, Brophy got the ball right back when Isaiah Oliver intercepted Gorman quarterback Danny Hong, who was trying to take advantage of a stunned Brophy team by throwing deep on the first play.  But the visitors were unable to keep a drive going and were held on a fourth-and-1 at Gorman’s 34-yard line, and soon found themselves in a 14-0 hole by the end of the first quarter.

Two more scores and a 37-yard field goal made it 30-0 at the half.

Brophy’s head coach, Scooter Molander, could see the writing on the wall at that point and began playing some of his younger players in the second half as Gorman also began substituting more freely at it rolled to the 44-0 win.

It’s going to be hard to wear down the Gorman offense this year because they rotate in three running backs without losing momentum.  That’s what hurt Brophy, as the trio of Jon Shumaker, Russell Booze, and Biaggio Walsh combined for 181 yards.

Booze is a senior who rushed for 886 yards and 15 touchdowns last year.  This year, he will have some big-time help.  He collected 72 yards last night and Shumaker, a junior, led with 74.

Brophy’s ground game, on the other hand, was all but non-existent as the Gorman defense held them in check throughout the game.  Quarterback Cade Knox, who spent a lot of time scrambling to avoid tackles, managed 44 yards to lead the team in that category.

(Photo: Bishop Gorman)