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Bishop Gorman routs Corner Canyon, eyes Mater Dei — PHOTOS

Updated August 19, 2022 - 11:23 pm

Now Bishop Gorman can turn its full attention to Mater Dei and its hopes of putting itself in position to win a national championship.

The Gaels will need to clean up some of the mistakes they made in Friday night’s season-opening 42-7 victory over Utah’s Corner Canyon, but whether the home team was the superior side was never in doubt.

Gorman quarterback Micah Alejado moved effortlessly in the pocket while waiting for receivers to get open. He completed his first 11 passes for 134 yards before the streak ended on Trech Kakahuna’s drop that would have been a touchdown. Kakahuna redeemed himself in the third quarter by catching a 12-yard TD laser from Alejado for a 35-7 lead.

By halftime, Alejado had thrown for 200 yards, and he finished 22 of 24 for 312 yards and three TDs. He also ran for a score.

“I definitely think the experience (as a three-year starter) helps a lot and being able to see the whole field and seeing who’s coming from where and where I’ve got to get to,” Alejado said.

That despite Corner Canyon focusing its defense bracketing Zachariah Branch, the nation’s top-rated wide receiver who has committed to Southern California. Branch caught seven passes but for only 65 yards.

Alejado didn’t lack for options, however, completing passes to seven targets.

“I would not blame anybody for (bracketing Branch), but he’s so dynamic, he’s still going to get it,” Gorman coach Brent Browner said. “There are a lot of other weapons on the team, and that’s going to be tough for people that think they’re just going to bracket him. I think after watching this game, especially, if you want to double him, then somebody else is going to step up.”

The game went to a running clock when Gorman took a 42-7 lead midway through the third quarter.

The Gaels now can focus on their showdown with defending national champion Mater Dei of Southern California, which visits next Friday.

Gorman can’t make the mistakes such as a dropped touchdown pass that would have put the Gaels ahead 21-0. Or like the two personal-foul penalties that led to Corner Canyon (1-1) driving for a touchdown just before halftime. A pass-interference penalty on a third-and-9 on a pass that wasn’t going to be caught was another error.

“That’s why this game is so important,” Browner said. “That is a great team we just played. I don’t think people realize. We watched them on film.

“You’ve got to play a tough team before you go play (Mater Dei). You can’t play just some random team. That’s a tough team we played. That’s what’s going to help us more than anything.”

Contact reporter Mark Anderson at manderson@reviewjournal.com. Follow @markanderson65 on Twitter.

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