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  • Tyler Harden

Cam Barfield rushes for 5 touchdowns for Bishop Gorman in 42-21 season opener win over St. Louis

Picture Credit: Las Vegas Sun

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA— The beginning of the 2021 high school football season means a lot to every team in the country, as it is a hope to return to a normal high school football season, and a hope to play all games. But the beginning of the new season meant a little more to the Bishop Gorman Gaels out of Nevada and the St. Louis Crusaders out of Hawaii. Due to COVID-19, Bishop Gorman was only able to play 2 games in the spring of 2021, and St. Louis was unable to play at all this past year. Both teams were eager to get back out on the field, to say the least, but there was another contributing factor that gave Bishop Gorman the upper hand coming into the game, and that was revenge. In 2019, Bishop Gorman travelled to Hawaii to take on St. Louis in which the Gaels took a tough 31-19 loss, 1 of only 2 losses for them that year. Because St. Louis was unable to play this past season, this was Bishop Gorman’s next opportunity to make the score even, and they were able to do that.

The Bishop Gorman defense started the game looking vicious, as they forced St. Louis to punt on the first possession of the game. But both teams had some rust to shake off to start the game. St. Louis quarterback, A.J. Bianco, then got a rhythm going for the Crusaders, leading them all the way inside the Bishop Gorman 20-yard line. Bianco was able to cap off the drive himself with a 19-yard touchdown to take an early 7-0 lead (PAT good).

Bishop Gorman bounced right back, and running back, Cam Barfield, started to step on the gas. After a 15-yard run to the St. Louis 4-yard line, Barfield evened the score at 7 to end the first quarter with a with a 1-yard touchdown (PAT good).

Barfield picked up where he left off to start the second quarter. After St. Louis was forced to punt, Barfield, who is currently committed to play at Boston College, broke loose and went untouched for a 57-yard touchdown, giving the Gaels a 14-7 lead (PAT good). But this time St. Louis bounced back, as A.J. Bianco and Nano Kalaukoa led the Crusaders all the way inside the Bishop Gorman 5-yard line. Running back, Ola Apduhan capped off the drive with a 3-yard touchdown to tie the game at 14 (PAT good).

Bishop Gorman still wouldn’t go away, as the offense found a tempo. Barfield was then able to get in the end zone again for a 2-yard touchdown, giving Bishop Gorman the lead back at 21-14 (PAT good). The Gorman defense came up big on the next drive, as the linebacker core stopped St. Louis on 4th down, and the Gaels took over on their own 45-yard line. After quarterback Micah Alejado found Zachariah Branch for a 25-yard pass to the St. Louis 26-yard line, Barfield continued to run strong with a 13-yard gain to the 1-yard line. Barfield then ran for his fourth touchdown of the first half with a 1-yard touchdown, giving the Gaels a 28-14 lead headed into halftime (PAT good).

The Bishop Gorman special teams started the second half with a bang. Devon Rice found a hole on the kickoff return, running 76 yards to the St. Louis 21-yard line. The Gaels kept going from there, as Alejado found Zachariah Branch for a 37-yard completion to the St. Louis 33-yard line, and Maleik Pabon caught a pass good for a 14-yard gain to the 19-yard line. But Cam Barfield took over from there like he did all night, rushing for his fifth and final touchdown, this one for 19 yards to extend the Gaels lead to 35-14 (PAT good).

After St. Louis was forced to turn the ball over on downs, the Crusader defense picked up the offense, recovering a fumble inside their own 5-yard line. This was Bishop Gorman’s first turnover all game. However, the Crusaders couldn’t take advantage, as they were forced to punt, and the third quarter came to an end with the Gaels in the lead 35-14.

The Bishop Gorman special teams came up big to begin the fourth quarter. After St. Louis was forced to punt, the snap went over the punters head, and Bishop Gorman linebacker, Palaie Foa recovered the loose ball in the end zone to increase the Gaels’ lead to 42-14 (PAT good). St. Louis was unable to convert on fourth down on their next possession, and Bishop Gorman worked to drain the clock from there. After St. Louis was able to get in the end zone one more time, it just wasn’t enough to reach Bishop Gorman, and the Gaels walked away with a 42-21 season opener win.

Bishop Gorman starts the season 1-0, and hopes to continue the winning trend throughout the season, as the Gaels are set to play some of the nation’s top programs like Miami Central from Florida, Mater Dei from California, and Hamilton from Arizona. The Gaels are set to take on Bishop Manogue from Reno next week on Friday, August 27th, at 10 PM ET (7 PM PT). St. Louis starts their season after being unable to play last year at 0-1. The Crusaders will hope to bounce back in two weeks against Punahou on Friday, September 3rd at 7:30 PM Hawaii-Aleutian Standard Time.

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