Bishop Gorman receiver Taylor Spencer saw the right side of the field open before him, and he just took off.
"They had a couple people blitzing on my side, so I thought I’d have more room to run (on the right)," Spencer said. "I didn’t think I was going to score, though."
But that’s exactly what Spencer did, taking a short pass from Joe Huber on the left flat and turning it into a 45-yard touchdown pass. Spencer cut all the way across the field and sprinted down the right sideline.
The touchdown tied the score at 36 with 1:06 to play, and Colin Ditsworth’s extra point gave the Gaels a 37-36 home win over Cheyenne in a Sunset Region semifinal Friday.
"I was just running for the sideline, and I broke free, so I was like, ‘I might as well just try to score,’ " Spencer said.
The win put the Gaels (12-1) into the Sunset final at Palo Verde (12-0) at 7 p.m. Friday. The Gaels beat Palo Verde 24-20 in last year’s Sunset final.
"I was jumping for joy," said Huber, who passed for two touchdowns and rushed for three more. "I ain’t going to lie."
Gorman led 30-14 after Huber’s 8-yard touchdown run with 10:44 to play. But Cheyenne started its comeback on the ensuing drive.
The Desert Shields abandoned their double-wing set and had star running back Marcus Sullivan start taking shotgun snaps.
The formation worked, as Sullivan drove Cheyenne 53 yards on two plays, with Sullivan hitting Khyriece Cambpell with a 12-yard touchdown pass with 10:16 to go.
On the next drive, Sullivan found Jordan Butler behind the Gorman defense for a 69-yard touchdown pass, and Sullivan’s 2-point conversion run made it 30-28 with 5:08 to play.
"They hit a couple big passes on us," Gorman coach Bob Altshuler said. "They just got the ball back behind our secondary. You can’t ever get beat deep. You’ve got to keep guys in front of you."
Cheyenne got the ball back with 4:03 to go, and Sullivan again led a quick drive, breaking at least three tackles to score on a 21-yard run with 2:27 to go. Sullivan’s 2-point conversion run made it 36-30.
"I wasn’t nervous," Spencer said of the Cheyenne comeback. "I was confident that our defense would stop them, but if not, we’ll come back on offense and get them."
Cheyenne’s kickoff went out of bounds at the Gorman 42. Huber missed on his first three pass attempts of the drive but found Evan Zeger for a 15-yard pass on fourth-and-10.
Cheyenne defenders had their hands on two of the three incomplete passes but couldn’t come up with an interception to seal the win.
After a sack and a Cheyenne penalty, Huber hit Spencer with the game-saving TD.
"I got a nice block from Xavier Grimble," Spencer said. "He saved me."
Huber had touchdown runs of 23, 8 and 8 yards. He also hit Zeger with a 22-yard touchdown pass with 18 seconds left in the first half.
Jordan Welte added 101 rushing yards for the Gaels.
Sullivan rushed for 163 yards and passed for 98.
Contact Prep Sports Editor Damon Seiters at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-380-4587.NevadaPreps.comIn-depth high school sports coverage
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