Gaels will win title, if they don’t oversleep

Cough, cough.

I’ve been sick all week after Bishop Gorman’s win over Liberty last Saturday in a Class 4A state semifinal. At least, that’s the excuse I’m using for not picking the spread.

If you recall, I put Gorman at minus-24. The Gaels won by 22. Close enough?

Now we’re down to the final week of football, and only two teams are left.

Gorman football takes center stage against Reed at 12:15 p.m. today at Damonte Ranch in Reno, then the spotlight belongs to Gaels basketball wunderkind Shabazz Muhammad for the winter.

I’m not sure if the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association will make either Gorman (15-1) or Reed (12-1) write a letter if it wins by more than 40. But both have reasons to be optimistic.

Here are three reasons both teams can win. Enjoy them during your drive to the Great White North.

■ WHY REED WILL WIN:

1. The Raiders have a proven offense.

Reed averages 52 points, including a 49-0 rout of Carson in the North Region final last week. The Raiders have posted four shutouts and scored at least 50 points six times.

Quarterback Anthony Silva has 40 touchdown passes, so the offense knows how to score.

What the Raiders are going to try to do … is score more points than the other team.

2. Gorman is not invincible.

Sure, the Gaels’ only loss was to USA Today’s third-ranked team, Armwood (Fla.). And by a missed field goal, at that.

But it’s still a loss.

Reed has yet to lose to an in-state opponent, as well. The Raiders’ loss came in the first week to Granite Bay (Calif.), a 43-37 defeat in which Silva threw for 365 yards and three TDs.

Somebody has to get their first “L” against a Nevada opponent today.

3. Late Gaels.

Gorman oversleeps, or finds some way to get lost on the way to Damonte Ranch, thereby forfeiting the state final.

Set your alarm clocks.

■ WHY BISHOP GORMAN WILL WIN:

1. History.

The Gaels haven’t lost to a Nevada opponent since the 2008 Sunset Region final against Palo Verde.

Nobody has been able to touch Gorman in three years. Why would they start now?

2. Shaquille Powell will have plenty of touches.

The senior running back has run for 2,302 yards and 40 touchdowns, and he has done it all on 182 carries.

And if the Raiders miraculously slow him, Nathan Starks, who averages 12.6 yards a carry, can fill in.

3. Too many options.

Besides Powell and Starks, Jarrett Solomon gives Gorman a balanced attack with a 64.8 completion clip, 36 touchdowns and only two interceptions.

Jamir Tillman and Ryan Smith are big-play receivers, and Smith has a ridiculous 27.4 yards-per-catch average.

There should be plenty of scoring in this one.

Advantage, Gaels … Gorman by 20.

Last week: 1-0, 0-1 (with points)

Season: 71-19 (overall), 52-36-2 (with points)

Contact Fielder at fielder@nevadapreps.com.

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