The Bishop Gorman Gaels removed all doubt of who is #1 in the state with a very impressive victory of the Palo Verde Panthers. In a game billed as the game of the year by some, the Gaels looked like a fresh and young prize fighter facing an aged foe that packed a good punch but didn't have the ability to go the distance.
A late arrival saw the score 14-0 early in the contest as the Gaels came out on fire. Late I the first quarter the Panthers would log a one yard sneak by Sean Mears to close the gap to 14-7.
The Panthers would then make a run of it after Brandon Wright scooped up a fumble to race for a 32-yards score to ties the game up.
Soon after, the Gaels would complete a circus pass on a tipped ball by the original receiver but a fumble would land in the hands of Panther linebacker Daniel Godkin as he raced 69-yards with the ball for another score to push the score to 21-14 as the crowd was rocking on the visitors side but that was when playmaking Jonathan Lloyd would break up the party with an 86-yard kick return to even the score.
After the Panthers couldn't find much offense with two huge drops in the passing game, the Gaels would punch the ball in on a great drive to close the half with a 5-yard Shaquille Powell touchdown run with 39 seconds left. Along the way, the Panthers also saw star defensive tackle Dillon Chaisson leave the game with a injury that took him out of action the rest of the game changing the dynamics of the defense.
The Gaels then opened the fourth quarter with a physical drive that was capped with a 5-yard Jarrod Solomon touchdown on third and goal despite a fumbled snap making the score 35-21.
Following two three and outs to open the second half, the Panthers found life after a swing pass the Wright sparked the offense as thy marched down for a 2-yard Tyrone Blake score.
The Gaels would lock things up however as tight end Xavier Grimble made his presence known making two huge reception the took the sails out of the Panthers as Colin Ditsworth added cushion with a 39-yard field goal to cap the drive.
After another three and out that saw the Panthers punt the ball with 3:59 left on the clock, the Panthers never got the ball back as the Gaels advance to the Sunset Title where they will face the Cimarron Spartans who won a do over versus the Legacy Longhorns.
The back drop to the Cimarron vs. Gorman game is a flash back to when the Spartans entered the first round in a match up in which they were expected to roll over the Gaels but landed their first loss of the season. That game featured plenty of current college stars like Keola Antolin, Eddie Wide, Brandon Marshall, etc. This years version shouldn't disappoint as well as both teams battle to be supreme.