high school football:

Decade of dominance: Cianelli rushes for 6 TDs, Gorman beats Manogue 69-26 for 10th straight title

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Steve Marcus

Bishop Gorman running back Amod Cianelli (23) makes a touchdown run on Bishop Gorman’s first possession during the high school football state championship game against Bishop Manogue of Reno at Sam Boyd Stadium Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018.

Published Sat, Dec 1, 2018 (2 a.m.)

Updated Sat, Dec 1, 2018 (2:39 p.m.)

At one point this season, Amod Cianelli was lost on the Bishop Gorman High football team’s depth chart.

But the senior running back slowly worked himself back into starting position, and in his final game today, put on a show to lead the Gaels to the state championship. Cianelli had six touchdowns and unofficially more than 250 rushing yards, leading the Gaels to their 10th straight title with a 69-26 victory against Reno’s Bishop Manogue at Sam Boyd Stadium.

Gorman led 21-14 with about three minutes to play before halftime, but scored three touchdowns in two minutes to ignite the blowout many expected.

Rome Odunze had two receiving touchdowns for Gorman, and quarterback Micah Bowens accounted for four scores.

Gorman hasn’t lost to a Nevada opponent since 2008. And, as witnessed again today, most outcomes aren’t close.

Gorman putting final touches on 10th straight state championship

Amod Cianelli has five touchdowns and more than 200 rushing yards through three quarters of the state championship game to help Bishop Gorman lead Reno's Bishop Manogue 55-26 entering the final quarter.

Bishop Manogue scored in the initial minute of the quarter, but the Gorman offense has been virtually unstoppable in pursuit of its 10th straight state championship.

Gorman starting to pull away in state championship game

The Bishop Gorman football team took a competitive first half of the large-school state championship game and turned it into the lopsided affair against Bishop Manogue that many expected.

The Gaels scored three touchdowns in a two-minute span at the end of the half to take a 41-14 halftime lead.

Amod Cianelli had three touchdown runs in the initial half and Rome Odunze had a pair of touchdown receptions, including one in the final minute of the half when he took a short pass and outraced the Manogue defense for a touchdown.

Gorman's defense has forced two turnovers, including an interception from Elijah Gilliam at the end of the half to setup another Gorman touchdown.

Quarterback Micah Bowen has two touchdowns runs and another two touchdown passes.

Gorman leads Manogue 21-7 after the first quarter of state game

The Bishop Gorman High football team is three quarters away from a 10th straight state championship.

Amod Cianelli had a long touchdown run on the second play of today’s large-school state championship game and quarterback Micah Bowens scored on a 33-yard run on last play of the first quarter for a 14-7 lead against Reno’s Bishop Manogue at Sam Boyd Stadium.

Gorman, to open the second quarter, recovered a Manogue fumble on the kickoff. A few plays later, Bowens connected with Rome Odunze for a two-touchdown advantage.

Pregame

It's hard to ignore the number: The Bishop Gorman High football team today is playing for a 10th straight state championship.

Coach Kenny Sanchez, though, swears he’s not concerned with playing for double-digit titles in succession. Nor does he want to get nostalgic talking about the journey.

That, he says, would be a disservice to the current team. Sanchez is quick to point out that many players are going after their first state championship, meaning the experience of a playoff run is something new, and something many have long strived to be part of.

Everything from the week of practice in colder than usual weather and the nervous excitement leading up to kickoff at noon today against Bishop Manogue of Reno at Sam Boyd Stadium, is a new experience.

This new batch of players, and some coaches, are cherishing the spotlight.

“We want to live in the moment,” Sanchez said. “It is not fair to the kids to tell them to remember the things (the program) previously did. It is good to build legacy and good to build tradition. All the people that came before us, taught the kids how to work for what they are trying to accomplish.”

1. Stop Peyton: Bishop Manogue running back Peyton Dixon rushed for 300 yards last week in a state semifinal victory against Arbor View and can easily take over against the Gaels. If he can gain a few first downs on the ground, Manogue will be able to shorten the game by running some clock. If the Gorman defense stops Dixon, it will lead to the convincing Gaels’ victory many expect.

2. Best player on the field: Many will label Dixon as the game’s best player. But, by game’s end, that honor will go to Gorman’s Micah Bowens. If Bowens continues his strong postseason play, Gorman should have no trouble scoring at will. In three playoff games, he’s completed 34 of 46 passes for 797 yards and nine touchdowns with no interceptions. He has also rushed 25 times for 383 yards and five touchdowns.

3. Don’t look past the opponent: Gorman has won each of the past nine state championships by the mercy rule of the running clock. There’s no reason to suspect today will be different. Still, Gorman can’t afford to look past any opponent. If Manogue is still in the game by halftime, it could produce a rare competitive second half.

Ray Brewer can be reached at 702-990-2662 or [email protected]. Follow Ray on Twitter at twitter.com/raybrewer21

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