By Alex Shoemaker, EDN
It’s been a theme for the Irish this season, as all of their wins have come by 15 points or more and six have come by more than 40 points.
Sheldon opened the game with a 25-yard touchdown pass to the back of the endzone followed by a Sean Bellotti extra point. It looked like the Colts were going to even up the game, situating themselves with first-and-goal at the 6-yard line the very next drive.
A 2-yard run on first down followed by a 1-yard run put the ball at the three. On third-and-goal, a Thurston bubble screen caught by Trevor Westover at the two was then fumbled and returned by Sheldon’s Cameron Herr 98 yards for a score to put the Irish up 14-0 to end the first quarter.
Unfortunately for the Colts, the second quarter was just as lopsided as the Irish outscored Thurston 21-7.
The first score came from a failed punt attempt in which the Thurston punter fumbled the ball giving the Irish field position at the Colt’s 13-yard line. On third and goal, pass interference against Thurston gave the Irish a fresh set of downs, allowing them to punch it in on a 6-yard pass play to Ivan Faulhaber.
On the next drive, the Colts took advantage of a Sheldon pass interference call on third down to move the ball near midfield. They scored two plays later after a 35-yard catch and run by Thurston’s Westover then punched it in by Aaron Downes to cut Sheldon’s lead to 21-7.
Back-to-back Sheldon touchdowns, a TD pass and a pick-6 by junior Dylan Lewis, brought the score to 35-7 at half time and the Irish never looked back. The game continued with the same theme with the Irish closing out the game 56-14.
There were a plethora of capable game MVPs, but the nod should go to the Irish starting quarterback, Dillon Miller. He has been nothing short of remarkable for the Irish all season long, reminiscent of one Alex Brink.
After the huge win, Miller feels good about the way the team played and how good they can be.
It hasn’t been all Miller this season, he’s had some help from a stable of phenomenal receivers led by junior Connor Strahm and senior Mitch Carman who have put up gaudy numbers. Included in the mix of receivers is Sean Bellotti, starting kicker and occasional receiver, son of former University of Oregon head football coach and athletic director Mike Bellotti.
A total of 24 seniors for the Irish played their final home game, but the season is far from over.
With the win, the Irish improve their record to 8-0 (6-0 in league play) with a road trip next Friday against undefeated South Medford to close out the regular season. Both teams enter the game undefeated in what might be the best finish to a regular season in each school’s history.
As for the Colts, Thurston’s record moves to 5-3 (3-3 in league play) with a chance to still make the OSAA 6-A State Championship Tournament. They concludes their regular season next Friday at home against North Medford.