September 11, 2021 - 10:04 pm
Updated September 11, 2021 - 11:41 pm
Bishop Gorman moved the ball through the air with ease and rolled past Lone Peak (Utah) 35-7 on Saturday night in the finale of the Polynesian Classic at Gorman.
After the Knights, who traveled about six hours from Highland, Utah, scored in the first quarter, the Gaels regrouped and scored 35 consecutive points.
“We just came out and did what we could,” Gaels quarterback Micah Alejado said. “We came out a little slow out of the gate, but then we got together as a group and just told ourselves that we’ve got to do what we do every play, and nobody could stop us.”
Alejado finished 10-for-12 with 369 yards passing and three touchdowns. Zachariah Branch accounted for 131 of those yards and a TD on three receptions and added a 70-yard punt return for a TD.
Alejado has been key for the 3-0 Gaels, ranked No. 8 in the nation by USA Today. Gorman coach Brent Browner has been impressed with the sophomore’s poise against a challenging gauntlet of out-of-state opponents.
“From the first day, he’s been doing a great job,” Browner said. “He’s been in a lot of big games in his youth, and you can see his composure.”
Lone Peak’s score came on a 16-yard pass from Easton Comer to Crew McChestney. The Gaels tied the score on Alejado’s 73-yard TD pass to Jeremiah Hughes to end the first quarter.
Alejado gave Gorman a 14-7 lead early in the second quarter, finding Elijah Lofton in the back of the end zone for a 15-yard TD pass.
Midway through the second quarter, the Knights (2-1) appeared poised to tie the score, but Luke Durfey’s fumble at the 2-yard line went out the back of the end zone for a touchback. The Gaels easily drove down the field, ending the drive with a 4-yard TD run by Cam Barfield for a 21-7 lead shortly before halftime.
Branch’s impressive 70-yard punt return in the third quarter gave Gorman a 28-7 lead. He caught the ball inches from the Lone Peak sideline, evaded a defender, reversed field and sprinted down the home sideline for the score.
Branch scored again in the fourth quarter on a perfectly placed 81-yard TD pass from Alejado.
Gorman played Lone Peak two years ago in Utah, a game the Gaels won 28-21. Gorman will face Hamilton in Chandler, Arizona, on Friday to close out the nonleague slate.