It was one of those stat lines that makes your eyes widen a little more than normal: nine catches, 284 yards, four touchdowns. Oh, including the game-winner.

That's what Tyler Bishop Gorman receiver Isaiah Haggerty did in Week 1 against Garrison. His quarterback, junior Jake Smith, has 965 yards passing with 11 touchdowns and two interceptions in the first three games of the season.

That's just two parts of the type of offense Tyler Bishop Gorman has been showcasing the last several seasons, and now the Crusaders are looking to build on a 3-0 start to the 2017 season.

"When you've got some kids who have the ability to do some of these things, it sure does make coaching a lot easier," said Bishop Gorman coach Randy McFarlin, whose team has put up 111 points in three games this year. "Several of our receivers have the ability to run and catch, the running backs are doing a great job of running the ball and Jake can throw the ball. And it takes them all to make it work."

McFarlin returned to East Texas after a three-year stint in Arkansas, and to the place where he was once the defensive coordinator. He has long East Texas ties, and has held head coaching jobs at Whitehouse and Daingerfield. He's coached plenty of stellar offenses over the years, and hopes to keep this train running at Bishop Gorman.

"It's really been fun so far. The kids are working hard and they've played hard. I'm very pleased," McFarlin said. "Our offensive output is definitely a reflection of the effort we've been putting out offensively."

The Crusaders' defense has shown marked improvement so far compared to 2016, allowing 71 points through three games compared to 148 last year. That included 71 from Ore City, a team Bishop Gorman beat 91-71 in 2016 and 31-7 last week.

The main challenge, McFarlin said, in heading a private school program compared to the bigger ones he's coached at previously, is dealing with smaller numbers.

"We're battling some injuries right now, and we've got to be healthy because we're so thin already," McFarlin said. "We're looking at being without some kids this week and we can't stand another one to go down. We're going to have to get some guys to step up and play their best."

The Crusaders face Waskom in their final non-district game of 2017 on Friday before starting district play with Carrollton Prince of Peace on Sept. 29. They went 4-2 in district last year before losing in bi-district against Grapevine Faith Christian.

Besides getting all his players healthy, McFarlin said his team's main focus is to stay together as a team and work to keep improving as a team.

"The teams that keep winning are getting better each week, and that's the secret. You become a better team through your workouts and your games," McFarlin said. "You get better at reading your keys, better at running your offense, better at tackling. It's critical we get better each week."

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