LAS VEGAS -- Bishop Gorman High School's football team never shies away from playing big-name opponents, and this Friday will be no exception, as the Gaels host the No. 1 ranked team in the country, Booker T. Washington High School out of Miami.
This will be the sixth straight game against out-of-state competition for the Gaels to start the season. They have won four of their first five against some very tough teams, but will be hard-pressed to find an opponent, who can match the talent level of the team they will see this week.
After watching film of the Tornadoes, Gorman head coach Tony Sanchez said he isn't just worried about one or two guys on their team. No, he said he was worried about "everybody, I talked to coach Hauck (UNLV's head coach) today and I told him, offer their whole team (scholarships)."
The Tornadoes are No. 1 in both the USA Today and MaxPreps national high school polls for a reason.
"They've got I think 13 or 14 guys with Division 1 scholarships, they've got six guys going to Miami, quarterback's going to Florida State," Sanchez added. "So, they're really fast, they're very talented."
The undefeated Miami team is the reigning 4A Florida state champion, and the Tornadoes have outscored opponents 212-to-30 in their first five games this year. But Gorman, who's only loss came in its home opener against highly-ranked Mountain Pointe out of Arizona, is one touchdown away from being undefeated itself.
The Gaels check in at No. 25 in the MaxPreps poll and say they won't be intimidated.
"I love being the underdog, you just get to showcase your talents in a way," said Gaels senior linebacker Chris Lalli, "you just get to show everybody what you got."
"I feel like if we just play the game that we know how to play, and if we just execute everything that we'll be able to hang with these guys and be able to come out on top," said Randall Cunningham, the Gaels starting quarterback.
This is about as big as it gets when it comes to high school football, the No. 1 team coming to your house, in front of a national television audience on ESPNU. That could play in the Gaels favor, because one thing they have is experience on the big stage, having played eight top-10 teams the last four years, with many of those games being televised nationally.
"I think we've already had some huge wins, and I think we've already put Las Vegas high school football on the map," Sanchez said.
The Gaels are already one of the most respected high school programs in the country, but a win Friday might even take them to another level.
"I feel like it would just say that we can compete against anybody across the nation," Cunningham concluded.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Friday night at Bishop Gorman. Pre-sale tickets can be purchased at the high school.