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Gorman downs No. 1 Shadow Ridge in state title rematch — PHOTOS

Updated February 1, 2024 - 8:17 pm

Bishop Gorman’s flag football team was at the end of the toughest stretch of its schedule, facing the three other Class 5A state title contenders.

After losing to Palo Verde on Jan. 26 and Desert Oasis on Monday, Gorman snapped the two-game skid while also getting revenge for a loss in last year’s 5A state title game.

The Gaels, No. 4 in the Review-Journal’s Class 5A rankings, jumped out to an early lead with three first-half touchdowns and held on for a 27-12 road win against No. 1 Shadow Ridge on Thursday.

“We’re just trying to make sure we’re rolling on all cylinders and ready to play like that in the playoffs,” Gorman coach Brandon Pappillion said. “Playing against Shadow Ridge, one of the best teams in the state, I feel like they played well.”

It’s the first meeting between the two teams since Shadow Ridge (16-2, 9-1 5A Southern League) pulled away for a 25-12 win over Gorman (11-5, 8-2) last year to win its second consecutive state title.

“It’s good for the girls to see that, so we’re ready when we see any of these teams again,” Pappillion said.

Sophomore quarterback Avery Reed completed 30 of 37 passes for 301 yards and four touchdowns to three receivers. Junior wideout Brie Wagner caught 12 passes for 118 yards and two touchdowns.

Gorman raced out to a 20-0 halftime lead, but Shadow Ridge clawed back after a pair of interceptions of Reed.

Kyla Moore scored on a 6-yard run, and Jyniah Sanders returned an interception over 40 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter to cut the deficit to 20-12.

Reed answered back early in the fourth on a 7-yard touchdown pass to Wagner, and Gorman’s defense came up with a pair of fourth-down stops to seal the win.

Shadow Ridge “did have a surge to come back and make it a fight, and I felt like they regrouped. We took that punch and finished out the game,” Pappillion said. “I was proud of how they finished.”

Reed and Wagner connected late in the first quarter on a 4-yard strike. Niah Waldman caught a 4-yard score, and Olivia Cobell hauled in a 7-yard pass from Reed for a touchdown.

“It was really good because it helped us have control of the game,” Reed said. “It was uplifting for us.”

Sanders had two interceptions on defense for Shadow Ridge and added 61 receiving yards on four catches. Moore finished with 61 receiving yards and rushed for 39 yards.

Contact Alex Wright at awright@reviewjournal.com. Follow @AlexWright1028 on X.

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