No. 1 Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) scored 36 unanswered points to turn a 10-7 deficit into a 42-10 lead and went to beat Arbor View 56-17 in the Sunset Region final.
With the win, the Gaels earned their spot in next week’s 4A state championship game against No. 21 Liberty (Henderson) as they attempt to win an eighth consecutive state title. Gorman (14-0) ran its overall winning streak to 53 games.
Gorman has now eliminated Arbor View from the playoffs in six of the last seven seasons, three times in the region title game.
The teams had to be separated by the officials who formed a barrier as players and coaches headed to the locker room with yelling and taunting coming from both sides. Both teams were hit with multiple personal foul penalties during the course of the game.
The bad blood seemed apparent when Gorman went for an onside kick with a 32-point lead with four minutes remaining, recovered and scored another touchdown.
However, Gorman coach Kenny Sanchez said the onside kick made sense because of an Arbor View penalty that pushed the kickoff to the 45-yard line.
“When the ball is on the positive 45-yard line, if you kick an onside kick and don’t get it, they get it on the 35, so it’s football 101,” Sanchez told the Las Vegas Sun.
With the score 14-10 and the clock ticking down toward halftime, Gorman put together back-to-back score in the final minute. Biaggio Ali-Walsh scored on a 2-yard run with 59 seconds remaining and Tate Martell hit Brevin Jordan for a 23-yard touchdown with 30 seconds remaining after an interception. That gave Gorman a 28-10 lead.
Gorman had 51 yards rushing in the first half, but Ali-Walsh changed that quickly. The Cal commit went 90 yards and Gorman was up 35-10 and the rout was on. Ali-Walsh had 123 yards rushing in the second half.
Tate Martell finished with 268 yards passing and five touchdowns, although he did throw his first interception of the season in Gorman’s 14th game. Three of those touchdowns went to Jalen Nailor for 23, 80 and 26 yards, respectively. Nailor finished with six receptions for 184 yards.