A Season’s End

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Mitch Lewis with the carry (All Photos courtesy Jon Morgan)

“Tears, idle tears, I know not what they mean, tears from the depth of some divine despair, rise in the heart, and gather to the eyes, in looking on the happy autumn-fields, and thinking of the days that are no more.” — Tennyson

–Kelly Asay, EDN

Mitch Lewis with the carry (All Photos courtesy Jon Morgan)

It was an unusual, and unwelcome feeling the now 13-1 Sheldon Irishmen experienced Saturday, December 10, 2011 when The Lake Oswego Lakers came away with the OSAA 6A State Championship (47-14). Watching the 24 Irish Seniors on the field after their last high school game was as heartbreaking as the jubilation on the faces of the long title bereft Laker team and staff was inspiring. It was worth four hours in the cold sinkhole of Jeld-Wen field to watch the two terrific teams battle it out, but also to be there to experience Lakers #11 Steven Long deliver one of the most dominating performances in a championship game by a running back in the history of the state: 42 carries for 322 yards and four touchdowns. Sheldon turned in 216 yards of total offense.

All Photos courtesy Jon Morgan

It is well known that Sheldon and Lake Oswego enjoy as intense a rivalry as UO and OSU, with as many colorful upsets. This years championship game was the 8th playoff meeting between these two teams in the last 10 years. Since the beginning of the 6 class system in 2006, Sheldon is 69-8, and Lake Oswego is 63-12, with 5 of those 20 losses to each other. Sheldon and Lake Oswego are also two of the smallest schools competing in the 6A division. Sheldon is a classrooms worth of enrollment away from a 5A classification, Lake Oswego is a 5A school that elects to compete at the 6A level.

Mitch Lewis making a beautiful reception. (All Photos courtesy Jon Morgan)

In spite of the lopsided final score, the first half was a back and forth contest that ended with a Lakers field-goal, made possible by a pair of 15 yard penalties that included A facemask penalty that didn’t appear to include contact with a facemask by Sheldon, and a personal foul on the same play that appearred to be a continuation, not a dead ball foul. If anything it should have been a facemask foul against the Lakers. You can form your own opinion: osaa.tv around 58:57 in..

The second half was a different story and in-spite of some terrific plays on the Irish side of the ball,the inability to stop Long coupled with some costly mistakes spelled the end for the Irish. Sheldon had the ball for just 5:22 in the second half.

Irish high points include:

Tanner Zent with the quarterback sack and fumble (All Photos courtesy Jon Morgan)

First Quarter – Tanner Zent comes with a blindside smackdown on a 4th down conversion attempt; Sean Bellotti stopped a deep strike attempt by the Lakers; Dylan Lewis hits Jack Anderson causing a fumble that Lewis then recovers but the ball is ruled dead with Lewis out of bounds when he gained control.

Second Quarter – Mitch Lewis makes a beautiful catch for a 27 yard gain; on a 4th and 7 conversion attempt Miller hits Strahm in coverage for the 1st down; Carman and Strahm alternate on tough runs for a 1st and goal where Strahm walks it in for 6; Mitch Lewis brings in a first down after 2 swatted down pass attempts; Miller hits Carman for 8; Miller hits Faulhaber for a first down after some great protection from the line; Dawson Housely blows right through Steven Long and sacks Matthews for a loss of 9; and finally an entertaining hook and ladder in the final seconds of the half – ineffective, but showing some confidence.

Chet Spears with the tackle. (All Photos courtesy Jon Morgan)

First half stats: Dillon Miller 11-22, 118yards, INT, Mitch Lewis 7 carries, 36 yards; Connor Strahm 7 carries, 30 yards, 2 TDs, 2 catches, 15 yards; Mitch Lewis 3 catches, 46 yards; Mitch Carman 3 catches, 32 yards; Sean Bellotti 2 catches, 9 yards.

Third Quarter – Beautifully thrown pass by Dillon Miller intended for Joe Bando but broken up by Lake O; Chet Spears crushes through the O-Line to get Matthews in his grip – Mathews took a chance and flicked it as he was going down…for a completion; A nice 20 yard run by Mitch Lewis.

Fourth Quarter – This was a rough quarter.

Final stats: Dillon Miller 16-34, 136 yards, 2 INTs; Mitch Lewis 9 carries, 55 yards, 4 catches, 45 yards; Connor Strahm 8 carries, 36 yards, 2 TDs, 4 catches, 31 yards; Mitch Carman 3 catches, 32 yards.

As hard as it is to end a season this way, a tip of the hat to the Sheldon Irish for a memorable season and some great football.

1 Ryan Land RB,DB
2 Mitch Carman WR,DB
3 Sean Bellotti WR,DB
4 Austin Wheeler RB,LB
6 Cameron Herr RB,DB
7 Ross Cline WR,DB
8 Tyler Osborne WR,DB
9 Sam Hannah WR,DB
12 Dillon Miller QB,DB
13 Joe Spears WR,DB
16 Dawson Housley RB,LB
20 Joe Bando WR,DB
23 Luke Allender WR,DB
25 Drew Haugen WR,DB
51 Nick Ruiz-Anderson OL,DT
52 Peter Anderson OL,DE
53 Sam McCaskill OL,DE
54 Tanner Zent OL, LB
57 Kameron Canaday OL,DE
61 Connor Coleman OL,DE
66 Dale Baker OL,DT
68 Christian Nilsen OL,DE
77 Jacob Foutz OL,DT
84 Sean Ryan WR,DB

Farewell to a great pack of seniors – we’ll watch for you in College.

Kelly Asay is an entrepreneur, software developer and performing musician. As the publisher of Eugene Daily News, Asay is continually searching, finding and promoting the best unknown journalists, photographers and inspirational people from all over Lane County.

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