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Bishop Gorman buries Reed in state semis
by Aaron Retherford
Nov 28, 2009 | 1902 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune photo by John Byrne - Reed High running back Tyler Mollenberg (29 above) tries to shake off a tackler on this fourth-quarter carry of the Raiders’ 62-21 state semifinal playoff loss to Bishop Gorman.
Tribune photo by John Byrne - Reed High running back Tyler Mollenberg (29 above) tries to shake off a tackler on this fourth-quarter carry of the Raiders’ 62-21 state semifinal playoff loss to Bishop Gorman.
Just because a football team is 13-0 and has outscored its opponents by almost 600 points, doesn’t mean it’s some unbeatable gridiron juggernaut.

OK, maybe it does and Reed found out the hard way Saturday afternoon.

Bishop Gorman, the Sunset Region champion, made the Raiders look like a middle of the pack football squad, rather than the Northern Region champs.

The Gaels found the end zone five times in the first quarter and were off to the races en route to a 62-21 victory during a state semifinal matchup at the east Sparks school to earn a berth to the state championship game versus Sunrise Region champion Del Sol.

Reed scored the second most points against the state’s top-ranked team this year. Palo Verde tallied 28 two weeks ago in a regional semifinal clash. But the state semifinal was never close and Blue and Gold fans were left wondering what happened after Gorman found the end zone for the fourth time in less than six minutes of play.

The Gaels opened the game by going 50 yards for a touchdown when senior Victor Belen got around the left side of the line and scampered in from 15 yards out.

After forcing a three-and-out on the ensuing possession, Gorman took over on its own 36. On their very first play of the drive, freshman quarterback Jarrett Solomon hooked up with Johnathan Loyd in stride for a 64-yard touchdown pass on play-action.

Reed (11-3) tried some trickery on the following kickoff, but an exchange between Tallen Billings and Denis Bartee was dropped during an attempted reverse. Gorman was there to pick it up, setting the Gaels up at the 1. Belen punched it in from a yard out for the 21-0 lead.

“Anytime you run a trick play, it’s not a drastic situation,” Reed football coach Ernie Howren said. “It was something on film we had seen that we could run. It was there, but we just fumbled the ball.”

Fans who were shocked the Raiders could be trailing by three touchdowns just 5:23 into the game were even more stunned when Gorman went up 28-0 just 25 seconds later.

After Loyd picked off an errant Tyler Pine pass, the Gaels took over at the Reed 25. A holding call on the first play negated a touchdown run by Shaquille Powell, but the very next play saw Solomon and Ryan Smith hook up for a touchdown pass.

Gorman was not done in the first quarter though.

With 1:12 on the first-quarter clock, Powell got his touchdown back by bouncing off a defender and taking it in from 11 yards, giving the Vegas school a 35-point lead.

The Raiders thought they had switched the field position game when they pinned Gorman down at its own 8 with a punt. But from the 11, Taylor Spencer caught a pass over the middle, stopped and broke free from an attempted ankle tackle and was gone to the races for an 89-yard TD.

That was Solomon’s fifth straight completion to start the game with three of those going for six points and leading to a 42-0 edge with 9:20 left in the first half. Solomon wasn’t needed much after that.

The Gaels (14-0) looked like they would have to punt for the first time in the game, but on a fourth-and-1 play, Powell blew through the line for a 55-yard touchdown run, which increased the cushion to a game-high 49-0 gap with 5:53 to play before the break.

While Reed’s offense sputtered for most of the first half, the Raiders finally got on the board when Pine found a wide open Irslan Sabir on a 53-yard touchdown play. The PAT made it a 49-7 game.

That’s how the score remained heading into the locker room after Reed’s defense came up with a stop for the first time in the game after giving up seven straight scoring drives.

The Raiders came out firing after halftime, trekking 80 yards for a touchdown. On fourth-and 8, Pine went over the top to Aaron Greenblat for a 33-yard touchdown. The conversion was no good, leaving the gap at 49-13.

But before Reed got any strange ideas about pulling off a ridiculous comeback, Belen capped a 69-yard drive with his third touchdown of the game, a 1-yard TD with 6:05 remaining in the third quarter.

Belen and Powell both have over 1,300 yards rushing on the season and the duo combined for five touchdowns against Reed.

Both teams traded touchdowns again. After Greenblat caught a 6-yard touchdown pass late in the third quarter, Gorman got another on the ground thanks to Jordan Welte’s 9-yard rumble with 8:24 to go in the game.

Reed never got anything going with its rushing attack, racking up 128 yards. Fifty-nine of those yards came from non-starters in the fourth quarter.

“I need to go back and watch the film, but it was just seemed like we were one guy away every time,” Howren said. “They have such great athletes up front. One guy was getting off his block all game. It never really allowed us to get a running game going.”

Pine was solid, completing 17 of 29 passes through the air for 190 yards. Greenblat and Brandon Mondragon both had six receptions.
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