The No. 6 Sheldon Irish (5-2, 4-1 league) weathered a strong rushing attack from the No. 10 Roseburg Indians (5-2, 3-2) to come away with a hard-fought 21-14 win. Star quarterback Joseph Kuehn and dynamic wideout Mitchell Herbert connected twice in the third quarter for scores that kept Sheldon in front.
“It was a really good football game,” said Sheldon coach Lane Johnson.
Kuehn finished 17-of-24 (71 percent) for 155 yards and two touchdowns against one first-half interception. He was aided by Ben Planck in the backfield who rushed 11 times for a respectable 89 yards and a touchdown. Herbert crested 100, with 106 receiving yards on seven catches, collecting both of Kuehn’s touchdowns.
Roseburg held off a late Sheldon attack, which included an acrobatic Irish touchdown called back on a Sheldon penalty, and got the ball back on their own 2 with 2 minutes and a chance to tie. But Levi Rotherham jumped in front of a Roseburg pass to seal the game.
With 12 seconds left on the game, a seven-point lead and the ball, Kuehn was able to kneel and end the game.
Roseburg’s two scores came on solid drives from the Indians. Levi Holden led the way as the workhorse, with wideout Ryan Carhart and fullback River Sigrest cashing in for scores.
“(Roseburg) just blocked well. In the second half, we made some plays,” Johnson said.
The defense was making plays all game long with a blocked 29-yard field goal attempt and the interception standing out, but a handful of stuffs and sacks kept the Irish ahead.
Do-everything back Yadie Dunmore missed time, spending the game in sweats on the sideline. Johnson said they missed the talented transfer, but were able to replace some of his yards with strong running from the reserves.
“We just got the next guy ready. Our running backs ran really hard. We miss Yadie, no doubt about it, he’s the catalyst for our team,” Johnson said. “But I was proud of the other running backs that came in, and defensive backs that took his spot.”
The top-10 win is a marquee one for Sheldon, so on top of it being an important league win for the standings, it might be enough to move the Irish back into the top five after some early-season success.
Sheldon stays at home next week to field Thurston on Friday at 7 p.m. before traveling to Grants Pass for the regular season finale.