Special Teams Touchdowns Help Gorman Pass Hawaii Test

Kick returns from Justin Sweet, Ryan Smith give Gorman an edge in victory against Hawaii’s St. Louis High

The Bishop Gorman High football team didn’t run an offensive play in the initial 10 minutes of the third quarter Saturday night.

They still managed to score two touchdowns.

Justin Sweet had a 96-yard kickoff return for a touchdown and Ryan Smith added a 48-yard punt return for a score, helping Gorman conquer its toughest road game of the season in a 52-40 victory against Hawaii’s St. Louis High at Aloha Stadium on Fox Sports Net.

Gorman showed some signs of jet lag after traveling 2,700 miles to the island but still scored 28 unanswered points to open the game for its second victory against an out-of-state opponent in as many weeks.

The touchdown returns were the lone bright spots of the third quarter for Gorman, which proved to be vulnerable defensively in allowing three St. Louis touchdowns to trim the lead to 42-20.

St. Louis didn't back down in the fourth quarter, but Gorman held off the late charge. Smith hauled in a 19-yard touchdown pass from Anu Solomon seconds into the quarter and Kline Fielden drilled a 39-yard field goal to keep Gorman's lead in the double digits despite being outscored 40-24 in the second half.

“We got a little complacent at the end and gave up too many big plays,” Gorman coach Tony Sanchez said. “(St. Louis) is tough. They kept fighting.”

Although Gorman struggled in the second half, it was dominant in the first. It outgained St. Louis 260-110 in the first half to open a comfortable advantage.

Solomon completed 11-of-17 passes for 165 yards and two touchdowns in the first half and added a 6-yard touchdown run to help Gorman build a double-digit lead.

On Gorman’s first drive of the game, Solomon connected with Nate Starksfor a 13-yard touchdown pass for a 7-0 lead just four minutes into the game. The drive included Solomon completing an 18-yard pass to Terrance Chambers to extend the drive on a fourth-down play.

Solomon added a 3-yard scoring strike to Jamir Tillman and Starks closed the first-half scoring with a 4-yard touchdown run 31 seconds before halftime. Gorman went 62 yards on three plays in 26 seconds for the final score.

"There were some great individual efforts for some huge plays for us," Sanchez said. "But we have a lot of things to work on to get better. That was a sloppy win."

Gorman, which travels back to Las Vegas on Monday, returns to action Sept. 14 against visiting Bergen Catholic of New Jersey.