The bumbled opening kickoff for the Bishop Gorman Gaels was a precursor for the Friday evening to come. It was an evening in which the Gaels went down to Miami Central 24-20 at a wet and rainy Fertitta Field. The loss ended a 31-game home winning streak and is also the first time the Gaels have lost back-to-back games since the last game of 2005 and the first game of 2006.
Dorian Thompson-Robinson, was 14 of 25 for 284 yards with 2 TD’s, 1 interception and a fumble. He also rushed for 33 yards on eight attempts. In my first three pieces, I have talked about Dorian’s arm strength and accuracy, but I have not highlighted some of Thompson-Robinson’s other gifts, specifically his running ability. Check out the highlight below of his acceleration hitting the hole. The read option was played perfectly by DTR as the defensive end attacked the ride of the hand-off to the RB, and DTR was off and running. This is another weapon in his arsenal.
The highlight in the video below shows what I believe to be Thompson-Robinson’s most obvious strength, which is his accuracy and ability to place the ball where receivers can catch and run and maximize yards after the catch. You see on this play that Thompson-Robinson is on the opposite hash-mark, and the receiver just runs a quick slant, and the ball is placed perfectly for a huge gain.
The next highlight further exemplifies Thompson-Robinson’s accuracy. On this play Jalen Nailor runs a seam route, and he places the ball perfectly and ends up completing a 51-yard TD pass to Nailor.
I have seen many positives each week with DTR, but, as with any young quarterback, there are going to be growing pains and there were some in this game. Some of the growing pains can be attributed to a quarterback only starting his third game as a starting varsity quarterback. I think the bigger factor is a schedule that has provided Thompson-Robinson the toughest three, soon to be four, game stretch of any quarterback in the country. It’s quite possibly the toughest four-game stretch a high school football team has embarked on in recent memory.
I observed multiple times in this game, especially in the second half, that DTR had to throw off his back foot due to pressure. That’s not an ideal throwing platform for a QB. The lack of a balanced attack for the Gaels Friday night, only 42 rushing yards when taking away DTR’s rushing yards, has caused teams to key their defensive attack on Thompson-Robinson. The lack of running game caused the Gaels to struggle offensively at times.
Despite the struggles on Friday, DTR and the Gaels had a chance to take the lead in this game late in the 4th quarter. The Gaels were down 17-14 and were driving for the go ahead TD. On 1st and 10 at the 11 yard line, Thompson-Robinson lofted a ball into the end zone intended for Cedric Tillman, but a great defensive play by Central’s Hunter Goetz in the end zone negated the potential go-ahead TD. Two plays later on 3rd and 10, Thompson-Robinson was looking for Jalen Nailor. Nailor ran a slant and go, and Thompson-Robinson threw early to the slant and the ball was picked off to end the threat.
Then, at the 1:30 mark of the 4th quarter, Thompson-Robinson was hit hard by Tatum Bethune. This was a second roughing the passer penalty of the drive. Thompson-Robinson went down and stayed down. He eventually was helped off the field favoring his shoulder and did not return. It was nice to see Thompson-Robinson give Bruins Nation an early signal that he’s doing ok.
Thank you bruin nation. I'll be okay.— DTR (@DoriansTweets) September 9, 2017
As was mentioned earlier, this four-game stretch by the Gaels is like one that I have never seen in high school football scheduling. The Gaels will next play the De La Salle Spartans, another nationally ranked team, at home.
Good luck, DTR!