weather icon Clear
RJ App
Vegas News, Alerts, ePaper

Gorman faces Florida state champion in postseason bowl

Even as Bishop Gorman was making its run to its second consecutive Class 5A state title, the team knew there was a possibility it would play one more game after the state title game.

Four weeks after the Gaels rolled through Bishop Manogue 70-6 on Nov. 19 in Carson City to win their 12th state title in 13 seasons, Bishop Gorman takes the field again Saturday.

The Gaels, ranked No. 4 nationally by MaxPreps, will play No. 5 Chaminade-Madonna (Florida) at 1 p.m. in the Geico State Champions Bowl Series at Bishop Gorman High School.

Chaminade-Madonna (13-0) won the Florida Class 1M state title on Dec. 8 and won last year’s Bowl Series game against Highland (Arizona) at Gorman. This is the Gorman team’s first appearance in the event. The game matches high school state champions from different states in a postseason bowl game.

“That’s why we play the best that we can find. It’s another one of the best we could find. We did it all year already,” Gorman coach Brent Browner said. “This is just another one of those games where you play the best guys you can find. That’s why you come to Bishop Gorman, to play those games and have these opportunities.”

Browner said the biggest challenge was keeping the players fresh for the long break between games. He said he received some advice from college coaches visiting the school on recruiting trips since his situation was similar to the break they face between college football bowl games.

“It’s kind of like a real bowl game for us because these kids haven’t played a game in four weeks,” Browner said. “That’s a challenge right there for college. This will be the first time we’ve ever done it, so there are challenges that go within that framework.”

Chaminade-Madonna outscored its opponents 658-140. The Lions are led by Class of 2024 five-star wide receiver Jeremiah Smith, an Ohio State commit who has 1,073 receiving yards and 20 touchdowns.

Browner said there are a lot of similarities between Chaminade-Madonna and No. 2 Mater Dei, which defeated Gorman 24-21 on Aug. 26. His goal these past four weeks is to make sure his team is fundamentally sound to eliminate any rust after the month-long break.

“This will probably be the most talented team we play, as far as four-stars and five-stars …” Browner said. “You name it. They’ve got everything under the sun as far as players. Along with a Mater Dei, this is going to be that same kind of level of team.”

Throughout the past month, Browner has been pleased with how the players and his coaching staff have stayed focused and dedicated through the long season.

“We’ve never done anything like this before,” Browner said. “I don’t think anyone realizes how hard it is on these young men and they’ve handled everything admirably, to the point where you think they’re in college already.”

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

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.