There would be no ridiculous comeback this season. Bishop Gorman made sure of that.
A year after surrendering 18 points in the final 65 seconds to lose to Hamilton (Arizona), the Gaels dominated, rolling to a 45-0 win over the visiting Huskies in the Polynesian Football Classic on Friday night.
“The guys came out ready,” Gorman coach Brent Browner said. “I know everybody kind of labeled it as a revenge game. We just labeled it as another game we needed to play to prove that we’re one of the best teams in the country. That’s a good team that we just played.”
The Gaels (3-1) scored on their first six drives and used four second-quarter touchdowns to put the game away.
“I think the first half we hit a rhythm,” said senior wide receiver Trech Kekahuna, who caught two second-quarter touchdown passes.
Kekahuna caught three TD passes during a stretch where quarterback Micah Alejado completed 10 consecutive passes. Kekahuna finished with six catches for 149 yards, including TDs of 26, 29 and 52 yards.
The Gaels did that without receiver Zachariah Branch, considered one of the top receiver prospects in the country.
“We held him out to be cautious and so he’s ready for next week,” Browner said. “But, you know, we’ve got a lot of guys that can play. I think we kind of proved that today.”
The Gaels led 17-0 when Hamilton (1-1) decided to roll the dice to get back into the game. The Huskies went for it on fourth-and-1 from their 29-yard line, but Gorman’s Aiden McComber stuffed the play for no gain. Alejado hit Kekahuna with a 29-yard scoring pass on the next play, and the rout was on.
“I think they should have punted it,” Kekahuna said. “They were kind of back into their field. But it’s their decision, so that’s what they made and we took that and scored.”
Alejado finished 13-for-21 passing for 265 yards and four TDs.
On the second play of the second quarter, he somehow escaped a heavy rush, rolled to his left and found Elija Lofton wide open down the left sideline for a 60-yard scoring pass to make it 17-0.
Lofton finished with three catches for 90 yards. The Gaels also got a 13-yard scoring run from Micah Kaapana in the first half, and Kekahuna’s 52-yard TD reception with 5:07 left in the second quarter made it 38-0 and triggered the running clock.
“It feels good to bounce back from their revenge,” Kekahuna said. “We just had to come as a team, as a unit and just play football.”
The Gaels held Hamilton to 92 yards of offense.
“We learned a lot from last year, obviously,” Browner said of the defensive effort. “We just kept it really simple. We didn’t have a bunch of calls. A lot of really simple stuff, and we just let the guys play fast.”
Devon Rice rushed for 136 yards on 10 carries for Gorman, and sophomore Myles Norman had a 13-yard TD run in the second half.