Bishop Gorman will almost certainly remain the number team in the USA TODAY High School Sports Super 25 after a hard-fought victory against a perennially tough Don Bosco Prep squad from New Jersey, 30-16, to help solidify the program’s claim to a national title.
For the first time, Gorman fell behind to a first quarter Don Bosco touchdown and required a 17-point push in the second to gain a 17-10 halftime lead. The Gaels pushed across six more points in the third on a Tate Martell touchdown and matched Don Bosco’s score (and added an extra point conversion) in the final frame to secure the final 30-16 victory.
The narrow scoreline actually obscured a fairly one-sided Gorman performance in the first half, with the Gaels outgaining Bosco 254-100 in the first two periods. In the fashion of a true champion, Martell and Gorman stepped on the gas from there, all while the team’s defense clamped down and thwarted every Bosco attempt to mount a consistent challenge.
Despite the Gaels’ resilience, there was a distinct feeling that this was a far more difficult challenge than Gorman has faced. Before Friday, Gorman’s closest contenst was an 18-point victory at Bingham in Utah.
From here, Gorman’s road should theoretically be more straightforward … provided that it takes care of business. Assuming it does, the questions will shift to whether the Gaels’ record and resume stack up against hard charging contenders like St. John Bosco and Centennial, hot on its heels.