When all the proverbial chips were on the line, No. 7 Bishop Gorman quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson came through . . . and then he threw it all away.
After driving the Gaels down the field, the four-star UCLA commit threw an ill-advised pass on a third-and-10 in the red zone, forcing the ball to a teammate and watching a Miami Central defender streak in front for a critical, game-saving interception for Miami Central in a 24-20 victory that could prove season-defining for both Central and Bishop Gorman.
Robinson passed for nearly 300 yards and two touchdowns, but it was the lone interception that proved so critical, essentially killing the Gaels’ rally hopes. Instead, it set the stage for James Cook’s 87-yard touchdown run that was an emphatic dagger in Central’s win.
“We played a great team, and anytime you can come in here and get a win it’s awesome,” Miami Central coach Roland Smith told ESPN. “I’m so proud of Central nation. Our prayers are going out back home to everyone back home. We hope they weather (Hurricane Irma) as well as they can.
“We got an excellent running game, we have great backs behind James. We had to depend on the running game in a hostile environment like this to control the possession.”
For his part, Cook — the four-star younger brother of Vikings rookie Dalvin Cook — was impressive as always, finishing with 199 yards and two long touchdown runs. While Gorman added a late touchdown on a final drive, everything was academic after Cook’s explosive touchdown run.
“It was a great experience for us on the road and representing our city,” Cook told ESPN. “I appreciate my O-line and I can’t give them enough credit. We just didn’t want the situation to get to our head and just wanted to play our football.”
A week after a loss to No. 1 Mater Dei, the thought of back-to-back losses left the Gorman stands in a very unfamiliar place, contemplating the program’s mortality. While the Gaels are again loaded with talent, they seem to lack the efficiency or killer instinct of the school’s recent championship squads. Gorman had not lost back-to-back games since the final contest of 2005 and season opener in 2006.
Gorman’s eye-popping schedule and national profile mean there’s still time for the Gaels to get their season back on track, starting in just a week when No. 6 De La Salle (Calif.) comes to town.
Of course, even the toughest schedule only helps a team if it can win. Bishop Gorman will have to play better, with fewer mistakes than it has made against both No. 1 Mater Dei and No. 16 Miami Central if the Gaels hope to finish challenging for a high ranking in the final Super 25.