Connor Strahm

Sheldon Irish Crush South Medford with 49-14 Win

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Yadie Dunmore‘s career night led Sheldon to a 21-point lead by the second quarter and a 49-14 win over the South Medford Panthers (1-4, 1-2 league). The Irish (3-2, 2-1) halfback scored thrice in the first half, finishing the night with more than 300 total yards.

“It was really good, I think our team really needed it,” Dunmore said.

Yadie Dunmore
Joseph Kuehn (left) and Yadie Dunmore (right) | (Alex Shoemaker/Eugene Daily News)

Dunmore, a senior and brother of UO defensive back Oshay Dunmore, is now at seven touchdowns on the year and put it all together in this one. Two of his touchdowns in 2013 have come on special teams where he attacked all game on Friday. His third touchdown Friday was a 71-yard punt return that put the Irish up by a near-insurmountable 35-0 lead.

“We spend a ton of time on special teams, it’s just kids working together,” head coach Lane Johnson said. “We play our best players all the time.”

He added a 40-yard punt return on the next Panther punt that looked like he’d return to the end zone.

Dunmore’s backfield companion Joseph Kuehn was nearly perfect in this one, tossing just one interception early in the second half, but throwing for 339 yards and four touchdowns. Kuehn’s aerial assault started early and he got three of his touchdowns in the first quarter, utilizing the tunnel screen for large gains and scoring in bunches. Two of his TDs were tossed to Kellen Strahm, who picked up 92 yards through the air, all from Kuehn.

“Kellen’s been in his brother’s (Montana linebacker Connor Strahm) shadow his whole life, and he’s been a great player,” Johnson said. “He was great tonight on both sides of the ball.”

But fellow senior Mitchell Herbert was again Kuehn’s primary target and Sheldon’s other do-everything, and he pulled in 148 receiving yards and 23 rushing. Herbert pulled in Kuehn’s first touchdown pass, running the majority of it between South Medford guys who couldn’t bring him down.

Mitchell Herbert
Mitchell Herbert | (Alex Shoemaker/Eugene Daily News)

For the first 12 minutes, that Herbert run was actually a succinct microcosm for the rest of the game: Sheldon lowered their shoulders, churned their legs and drove. They were all alone and left South Medford in their wake. After a loss last week to North Medford gave them their first two-loss regular season in years, coach Johnson said a win like Friday’s kept their sideline spirits up.

“Everybody plays with more confidence when you’re up by three touchdowns,” Johnson said. “You can just feel it with our kids.”

And sometimes, you don’t need to see the kids jumping around and shouting to get their feelings about the game.

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With a large lead going into the last frame, the Irish turned to their reserves to put a little tap on the breaks. Sophomore Justin Herbert, Mitchell’s brother, took over at quarterback late, and junior Logan Comer joined him at halfback. Justin Herbert got to score one more for the Irish to set the final score.

With the win in hand, Sheldon is once again over .500 with three wins to two losses. They take to the road next Friday to meet with the Crater Comets, another league foe. Coach Johnson says they take any opponent south of Eugene especially seriously.

“We talk about taking one game at a time. Crater will give us their best shot.”


First quarter

Joseph Kuehn 30 yard touchdown to Mitchell Herbert  –  (7-0 Irish)
Kuehn 20 yard touchdown to Yadie Dunmore  –  (14-0 Irish)
Kuehn 11 yard touchdown to Kellen Strahm  –  (21-0 Irish)

Second quarter

Dunmore 1 yard rushing touchdown  –  (28-0 Irish)
Dunmore 70 yd punt return touchdown  –  (35-0 Irish)

Third quarter

South Medford fumble recovery for a touchdown  –  (35-7 Irish)
Kuehn 14 yard touchdown to Strahm  –  (42-7 Irish

Fourth quarter

Justin Herbert two-yard rushing touchdown  –  (49-7 Irish)
South Medford six-yard rushing touchdown  –  (49-14 Irish)

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Matchup of Season: No. 2 Lancers vs No. 8 Irish

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Two teams have been dominating Eugene prep basketball this season. On Friday night, these two powerhouses will collide in the game of the season regionally.

The (16-4, 9-0) Churchill Lancers sit in the No. 2 ranking in the entire state of Oregon, behind only Jefferson (Portland), and have four remaining games before the start of the 5A OSAA state playoffs. The (17-5, 6-1) Sheldon Irish will come into the game ranked No. 8 in the 6A standings. These two will face off Friday in a battle for revenge and bragging rights.

Sheldon pulled out a narrow 56-51 over Churchill on January 15th at home, but now the game is headed over to the Lancers’ Dome. Churchill has one of the most intimidating student sections in the region, and you can be they’ll be out for vengeance.

So, here is how the teams breakdown and why each team could win:

 

chs_logoWhy Churchill Wins:

 

The Lancers opened the season an impressive 7-0, but dropped two of their next three games in the Mesa Challenge (Mesa, AZ tournament) to teams with a combined record of 41-10. Yeah, those were really good teams. But Churchill as a team has continued to grow since the losses, going 8-2 with both of their loses coming by three and five points to South Eugene and Sheldon respectively.

Since the back-to-back loses, the team has won by an average of 24.2 PPG. Only one of their last six wins has been by fewer than 14 points.

Churchill is at their hottest point, which is exactly where they want to be heading into postseason competition. The Lancers will want to continue the stride with a payback win over the rival Irish. With the home crowd behind them, they’ll role.

 

14250_fullWhy Sheldon Wins:

 

The Irish are the most athletically gifted team in the Eugene/Springfield area. Like the Lancers, Sheldon is on its hottest streak of the season and winners of their last 13 games. Excluding a 4-game losing streak early on in the season (three of them to out-of-league teams in the Les Schwab Invitational) the team has an astound 17-1 record.

Head coach Ron Lampe typically has to deal with slow starts to the season, as half of his players make the transition from football season to basketball.

The Irish have proven that they know how to take down the Lancers, not something many can say, and are primed to do it again on an even bigger stage. With the poise and senior leadership behind multi-sport star Connor Strahm, the home-court advantage won’t be a factor. Sheldon has the experience.

 

Game Prediction:

 
Churchill 57
Sheldon 53
 

I swear this has nothing to do with the fact that I’m a Churchill alumni! This team is on a mission and seems ready to win its first state championship since 2001. Brothers Malik and Emanuel Morgan make for one of the strongest tandem of guards in the state. Along with 6’6″ Keidren Johnson, Churchill has a lethal inside-outside game. I see the Lancers getting payback for the January showdown exactly a month before.

Comment below on who you see winning this Friday showdown. Make sure to like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter @EDN_Sports for more breaking news.

A New Chapter Begins….

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— Sam Finley, EDN Sports Editor

We knew it was likely, and now a new chapter begins for Oregon football.  Mere days after the Ducks’ Rose Bowl victory over Wisconsin, star running back LaMichael James made it official on Friday by announcing that he would forego his senior season and enter the NFL Draft.

LaMichael James is taking his talents to the next level. (Photo Credit: Harry How/Getty Images)

“It really was a difficult decision,” said James. “Especially after winning the big game and sharing that moment with my teammates. It was kind of like that you don’t want to go out another way.”

The 2010 Doak Walker Award winner rewrote the record books during his three years as a Duck. He’s scored the most points with 348, and his 58 touchdowns are the most overall. For that matter, his career 5,082 rushing yards rank second all-time in Pac-12 Conference history. Still, with all he’s accomplished, James said it was a tough choice to walk away from people he now considers family.

“I love my (running backs) coach (Gary Campbell) to the end and I’ll always be a part of his life,” he explained. “That, and not being in the locker room with my teammates will be very difficult for me.”

LaMichael James will finish as Oregon's all-time leading scorer and rusher. (Photo Credit: Harry How/Getty Images)

In the end, however, he believes there’s not much more he can accomplish playing in college. That, and he’s only a couple courses away from graduating.

“Ultimately, it came down to almost having my degree,” James stated. “I’ve also achieved just about everything that I possibly can at this level. I could win the Heisman or the BCS Title, but that’s just not likely. I feel like I’m going out with a bang.”

Now that he’s officially decided to go pro, James is excited to be able to have a chance at doing something only so many can consider a legitimate possibility.

“It’s a dream come true,” he said. “I’ve thought about playing in the NFL all my life. Who wouldn’t? I’m glad I can come a step closer to accomplishing those goals.”

James considers the chance to play on Sundays a dream come true. (Photo Credit: Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

He’ll soon hire an agent, and will begin training for the February scouting combine in Indianapolis.  With any luck, the 5’9, 195 pounder hopes he can defy the logic of where he’ll finish in the draft.

“The draft advisory board told me I could be picked as high as the third round,” he clamied. “Right now, I’m hoping to go in the second round depending on how I perform at the combine.”

With all the stuff he’s preparing for in the next phase, James hasn’t had much time to look back at the standard he’s set at Oregon. Unquestionably, though, he’s raised the bar for future Ducks and is proud to have played in Eugene.

“It’s probably the best time I’ve ever had in my life, he explained. “It has taught me a lot of different lessons, and I think the credit has to go to head coach Chip Kelly as well as coach Campbell. I’ve never really been on a resilient team where everybody puts the team before each other and there are no independent superstars. This year’s team that won the Rose Bowl was the best by far where teammates are concerned.”

LaMichael hasn't had the chance to look back at his many accomplishments at Oregon. (Photo Credit: Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

Now the guy who is, arguably, greatest running back in Oregon history is ready to take on the challenges of the NFL as easily as he dodged so many opposing defensive players at Autzen Stadium.

“I feel like I can be successful at the next level,” James said. “After that, I feel like I’ll be successful at whatever career path I choose.”

For the record, I think LaMichael could surprise some people in the pros. It’s highly unlikely that he’ll be an every down back, but could definitely make an impact as a situational player or on special teams.

The Oregon running game will also move along fine with Kenjon Barner, De’Anthony Thomas, and Tra Carson still in the stable.  By the same token, there will never be another guy moved the way James did. There may also not be another one who could stay so humble no matter how brightly his star shined in the Willamette Valley.

From a reporter’s standpoint, he was always willing to answer my questions in a respectful manner.  I wish him the best and hope I can get a word in with him from time to time wherever he winds up.

Now then, let’s move onto a few other items. First off, it is still very hard to get a good read on the Oregon men’s basketball team. The Ducks looked ready to take on the upper tier of the Pac-12 conference on Thursday with a solid 78-67 win against Stanford.

Dana Altman needs his Ducks to be a little more consistent if they're going to make the postseason. (Photo Credit: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Unfortunately, Oregon didn’t follow up on that performance on Sunday in a deflating 77-60 loss to Cal.  Head coach Dana Altman didn’t hesitate listing the reasons for the defeat.

“There were a number of things we needed to work on,” he said. “We had the opportunities, but we gave up easy baskets. The tempo favored Cal in the second half and they had it going for them.”

No question about it.  The Ducks battled the Bears for 20 minutes, and only trailed 30-27 at halftime.  Then Allen Crabbe got hot for Cal, scoring 26 points and grabbing 12 rebounds.  At the same time, Oregon simply couldn’t match them shot for shot.

But perhaps the real reason the Ducks dropped a tough one at Matt Knight Arena was the inconsistent play of Devoe Joseph.  The 6’4 guard could do no wrong against the Cardinal when he led all scorers with 30 points.

Yet on Sunday, Joseph had trouble getting it going early and only had five points in the first half (and a total of 14 on the night).

If this talented, but young, Oregon team is going to find its way into postseason, they’ll need to get some more consistency from Joseph as well as get a little tougher on defense.  This coming week will be a challenge for them as they head on the road to play the Arizona schools.

Should they get a split on that trip, they might just keep themselves in the race for a very reachable Pac-12 title.  I certainly like the potential of this team. If they can play like they did against Stanford, then they’ve got a very decent shot at getting Oregon’s first NCAA bid since 2008. But they’ve got to clean up their mistakes sooner than later.

When it comes to the Oregon women’s basketball team, however, I’m not as sold. Sure, those Ducks have an overall 9-7 record, but are 1-3 in Pac-12 play. Moreover, they games they’ve lost haven’t been close.  They got pasted 90-67 on Saturday against Cal, and were walloped 93-70 two night prior at Stanford. (Though, in fairness, almost everyone loses badly to the Cardinal these days).

For Oregon to have any chance to be successful on a given evening, they’ll need to have both Nia Jackson and Amanda Johnson healthy. They recently got back Jackson, but Johnson is still out with an injured thumb.

Thus, for an otherwise very young squad, wins are going to be very hard to come by. If anyone can eventually turn this program around, head coach Paul Westhead is more than capable. But it looks like season number three of the rebuilding project is going to be a very long one indeed.

Switching to the prep level, the Sheldon boys seem to be putting things together. On Thursday, the Irish prevailed over Marist 66-64.  They’re now 3-1 in the Midwestern League play, and it looks like head coach Ron Lampe has another solid squad on his hands.  Time will tell as the season goes on, but with Connor Strahm and Dillon Miller as spectacular on the court as they are on the gridiron, you’ve got to like their chances down the stretch.

Until next time, I’ll see you in the bleachers.

Civil War Was Hardly a Battle

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— Sam Finley, Sports Editor EDN 

Some Civil War. It was hardly a battle for Oregon against their rival Oregon State. Instead, the Ducks left the Beavers in the dust with a 49-21 whipping.

Now comes the time for a couple admissions. First of all, Oregon was not necessarily over that loss to USC and they took out their frustrations on OSU.

Chip Kelly credited a total team effort for the Ducks' Pac-12 North division clinching win over the Beavers. (Photo Credit: Steve Dykes/Getty Images)

“It motivated us a lot,” said Oregon quarterback Darron Thomas. “We wanted to show the other guys what we could do, as well as show ourselves again what we can do.So we came out anxious to get some respect from the Pac-12.”

Second, contrary to what some said this past week, this was not just another game to play on the schedule for the Ducks.  Not to Oregon running back Kenjon Barner, anyway.

“It means everything,” said Barner with a big smile. “It’s bragging rights for another year. I can go to Corvallis, take my hat off and show my face and be happy about it.”

 

The Ducks can certainly be happy about a lot of things besides winning the annual state dispute. The victory gives them three consecutive seasons with at least ten wins. They also won the Pac-12 North, and will host the inaugural Pac-12 Championship on Friday as a result. Head coach Chip Kelly said the key to getting back on track came from an overall team effort.

“I think the defense set the tone for us early,” stated Kelly. “I took us awhile to get us into our rhythm offensively, but everybody contributed to this one.”

Yes, it took their offense a quarter to get going. But after the Beavers tied the game at 7-7, the Ducks ran off 42 points and you can point to a number of outstanding performances that made it happen. Quarterback Darron Thomas threw for 305 yards and four touchdowns. LaMichael James rushed for 150 yards and a score (in what might’ve been his last Civil War matchup). Barner scored a couple of his own.

Kenjon Barner is glad to have state bragging rights for another year. (Photo Credit: Steve Dykes/Getty Images).

However, let’s give the game ball to senior tight end David Paulson. The soft-spoken, yet sure handed kid from Auburn, Washington led the way with a few more outstanding catches. On a surprising note, Saturday marked the first time he had a game with more than 100 yards in receiving. (105 to be exact).

“I think there was always a possibility of having a day like this,” said Paulson. “But you never really know until you see what defense they’re playing. We saw that the spots were open and we took advantage of it. It was fun to have the ball in my hands and help the offense out.”

Paulson had fun helping the offense out, and his teammates were glad to oblige one of their more reliable players.

“DP has been one of the most consistent guys all year,” said Thomas. “He comes out each week. Sometimes he’s banged up, but you wouldn’t know by his attitude. He caught every ball I threw his way. A very good game for him.”

Darron Thomas enjoyed throwing passes to David Paulson on Saturday. (Photo Credit: Steve Dykes/Getty Images)

Ironically, one of the other notable performers happened to be Paulson’s roommate. Defensive end Terrell Turner had two sacks and was willing to credit the living situation for their efforts.

“David was awesome,” said Turner. “I told him that’s why we’re roommates because we both played a good game.”

Of course, the fact that it was senior day also made their performances all the more memorable.

“It felt great,” Turner said. “I had my parents here, and they usually don’t make it out to that many games. So to have them here, and get to put on a show was awesome.”

“It was a special day,” said Paulson. “It was senior day and I looked back at the five years I’ve been here. I’ve had a great career and it’s kind of sad that it’s coming to an end. But it was fun to perform well in one of my last games here.”

Now the stage is set for UCLA (who clinched the Pac-12 South over the weekend) on Friday. If the Ducks can win that one, they’ll be back in the Rose Bowl for the second time in the last three years. It would also give them their third consecutive season of appearing in a BCS Bowl Game, setting up the goal of finally winning one.  That being said, they have to get past the Bruins first.

Terrell Turner had two sacks in the Civil War win. (Photo Credit: Harry How/Getty Images)

“We’re excited for the chance to represent the Pac-12 North,” said Kelly. “The challenge for us is to play in a short week, and we haven’t done that. But the Bruins have the same challenge, too.”

Indeed, Oregon has a challenge on their hands and I’ll give my usual predictions later this week. In the meantime, let’s go over some other things that happened over the past few days.

I watched the Packers and Lions tussle on Thanksgiving Day and came to conclusion or two. One is that Aaron Rodgers is the best quarterback in the NFL right now. As he led Green Bay to a 27-15 victory over Detroit, I marveled about how calm and cool he was in leading his offense down the field.

Some will say that Tom Brady is still the guy, but he hasn’t won a playoff game since the ’07 season (when his Patriots blew their perfect season in the Super Bowl). Peyton Manning is injured and may not be back. Thus, for my money, Rodgers is the guy I want as my signal caller at this time.

I could go on and on about him, but why don’t I move along to what irked me during that game? Ndamukong Suh really put his put foot on it, didn’t he? What was the Lions’ defensive tackle doing by kicking that Packer in the head? That action, by itself, was stupid.

Aaron Rodgers, in Sam's opinion, is the best quarterback in the NFL right now. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

But doing it after a recent meeting with the NFL Commissioner to allegedly clarify the rules really takes the moron cake. It is clear this guy has some anger management issues, and the league needs to discipline him accordingly.

I’ve heard that Suh is a nice guy off the field, and it looks like he does a lot of good work with charities. Still, there is no place for his on-field behavior and should be suspended for a few games.

Let’s get to some high school football before I wrap this up. In 5A action, Marist’s outstanding year is over. The Spartans lost 31-14 against Mountain View on Friday in the OSAA semifinals. Still, head coach Frank Geske and his boys have little to hang their heads about their 11-1 campaign. Next season, look for them to make another run at the title.

Meanwhile, at the 6A level, Sheldon showed why they might be the best team in the state against Grant. The Generals were supposed to provide them a tougher matchup, but the Irish ran them right off the field in a 49-7 blowout.

Now Sheldon will face another potential test in the OSAA 6A semifinals on Saturday against Central Catholic. But if Connor Strahm can play at his usual high level, you’ve got to like their chances against the Rams. And what a feather it would be in Lane Johnson’s cap to win a state title in his first season as the head coach? We shall see.

With that, there’s a lot of stuff going on this week and I intend to cover it as only I can.

Until next time, I’ll see you in the bleachers.

Irish Punch Out Cardinals

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Sam Finley, EDN Sports Editor

It wasn’t just the weather that was cold on Friday night at Sheldon High School.  Aside from the 30-something degree temperature, it took the Irish football team a little while to warm up as well.  In the end, the Irish pulled out a 45-21 victory over the Lincoln Cardinals in the second round of the 6A OSAA playoffs.

Sheldon quarterback Dillon Miller throws a pass against Lincoln. (Photo Credit: Jon Morgan)

“I’m just glad this one is over with and that we’re moving on,” claimed Johnson.

Don’t let the scoreboard fool you.  The second-ranked Irish came out flat in this one. Ironically, they found themselves in an unfamiliar position early in the first quarter.  Usually the aggressors, the Sheldon defense was reeling on Lincoln’s opening drive, as Cardinals’ quarterback Johnny Williams marched his team down the field for an early 7-0 lead.  It marked the first time all year that the Irish started a game trailing.

“We just didn’t hit on the cylinders that we’ve been hitting on,” said Johnson of the slow start.  “I don’t have answer for it.  I guess I didn’t do a very good job getting our team prepared, but we’re still playing.”

By the same token, Johnson was quick to give credit to his opponents’ efforts.

Connor Strahm runs for some of his 269 yards of total offense on Friday. (Photo Credit: Jon Morgan)

“I think 90 percent of it might be the job that Lincoln did,” he said. “They were very well prepared and their kids are tough and physical.  They kind of took it to us. We answered a couple of knock down shots, so I’m proud of our kids.”

Indeed, the Irish did answer a couple of haymakers with a few blows of their own.  They quickly answered Lincoln’s scoring drive with one of their own that ended with a short touchdown run by junior running back Connor Strahm, who was the Cardinal killer during the evening.

Strahm did it with his feet by running for 100 yards on 12 carries.  He was just as nimble with his hands by catching five passes for 169 yards.  In the end, he wound up with five touchdowns and had 269 of Sheldons 366 yards of total offense.

“Connor took over for us on both sides of the ball,” Johnson explained. “He’s an outstanding football player who has a shiftiness to him that, in my 26 years of coaching, I’ve rarely seen.”

That shiftiness came in handy in the second quarter, when he took a direct snap and darted his way into the end zone for a 10-yard touchdown.  That gave the Irish a 14-7 advantage, Strahm wasn’t done yet.

On Lincoln’s next series, Strahm displayed his defensive prowess by picking off a pass from Williams and took it to the Cardinals’ nine yard line.  Shortly thereafter, Strahm caught a short pass from Dillon Miller, extending their lead to 20-7.

In the third quarter, it appeared as if Strahm had delivered a knock out blow with a 39-yard touch down run on the opening drive.  The Irish were suddenly up 29-7 and the Cardinals were reeling, right?  Wrong.

Connor Strahm dives into the end zone for a score. (Photo Credit: Jon Morgan)

Sheldon’s defense showed some inconsistency during the course of the evening, too. There were great moments when defensive tackle Jacob Foutz delivered two wicked sacks on Williams. However, when Williams didn’t go down, he was scrambling every which way and making plays.  This was why Lincoln managed two quick scores to close the gap at 29-21.

“We are a great defensive team when we stay on our feet and tackle,” Johnson said. “But when we start to go to the ground, we become really average.  Their quarterback is really slippery.  I don’t have an answer for why we couldn’t tackle him, but he did a great job of eluding us.”

In the end, Lincoln could only elude the Irish so often. In the fourth quarter, Miller calmed any anxieties from the Sheldon faithful by throwing a four-yard touchdown pass to Cameron Herr that essentially locked up the game.  After that, the Cardinals seemed to lose focus, and couldn’t quite get back on track for the rest of the night.

As a result, Sheldon will move on to face the Grant Generals this coming Friday. Still, Johnson emphasized that he expected a better effort out of his team in the next game.

“We’re still playing,” Johnson explained. “But we’re not as sharp as we need to be.  We were just flat.  I guarantee we’ll be better next week.”

As has been the case the last two playoff games, the Irish will have the home field advantage again.  Now, according to Johnson, the key will be to get back to playing the way that got them in this position in the first place.

“Getting to play here is huge for us,” he said. “We just need to play with the spunk that we had for the first 10 weeks of the season that we didn’t have tonight.”

 

Irish Maul Cavaliers In First Round.

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Sam Finley, EDN Sports Editor

Talk about a mismatch. The No. 2 6A team in the state against a two-win opponent that got into the OSAA playoffs by winning a play-in game last week. So it was no surprise that the Sheldon Irish scorched the lowly Clackamas Cavaliers 50-0 on Friday night.

photographs courtesy of Jon Morgan for Sheldon Athletics

Just to provide the tale of two teams, consider the overall yardage by both teams in the contest. Sheldon produced 475 yards of total offense, while holding Clackamas to barely 153 yards. Moreover, the Irish took care of the football.  The Cavaliers, on the other hand, fumbled the ball once and quarterback Cade Wilkins threw two interceptions.  Not a recipe for success against one of the state’s best teams.

photographs courtesy of Jon Morgan for Sheldon Athletics

The Irish certainly put on a show for their home fans by scoring all of their points in the first half. Sheldon got the fireworks going early in the first quarter, when junior running back Mitch Lewis scored on an eight-yard touchdown run to give his team a 7-0 lead. Lewis ended up rushing for 81 yards and three touchdowns for the evening. Lewis’ contributions will be critical if Sheldon is going to go deep into the playoffs. After all, all-conference running back Ryan Land is probably done for the season with a lacerated kidney. The Irish will also need help from Cameron Herr, who did his part by running for 87 yards and a touchdown. So it looks like their running attack will be just fine for the time being.

Sheldon’s passing game seems to be hitting on all cylinders as well. On their next possession, Irish quarterback Dillon Miller hooked up with Connor Strahm for a 47-yard touchdown strike, stretching their advantage to 14-0.  Miller completed 16-of-21 passes for 247 yards and two touchdowns. His favorite target was clearly Strahm, who had five receptions for 111 yards and two scores.

photographs courtesy of Jon Morgan for Sheldon Athletics

The first quarter was just an opening act for the Irish. The real drama came when Sheldon reeled off 36 points in the second quarter. First, Lewis scored on a one-yard touchdown run. Moments later, while playing defensive back, he returned a Cavalier fumble for yet another score. That made it 28-0 Irish, and they were just warming up.

On Sheldon’s next possession, Miller found Strahm once more. This time, they connected on a 44-yard touchdown pass, extending the lead to 34-0. Then a case of double trouble occurred. Defensive back Dylan Lewis (Mitch’s twin brother) got into the act. He blocked a punt that went out of the end zone for a safety. That merely added two points to an otherwise large 36-0 lead.

photographs courtesy of Jon Morgan for Sheldon Athletics

Still, the Irish weren’t done yet. Even Yogi Berra would’ve said it was over, they managed to find their way on the board two more times thanks to Herr. First, he scored on a two-yard run, padding the game at 43-0.  On their next offensive series, Herr caught a 41-yard touchdown pass from Miller. That was clearly more than enough insurance for Sheldon to advance to the next round of the playoffs.

Now that the warm up with Clackamas is successfully completed, the Irish’s record now stands at a perfect 10-0. Sheldon will be back at home again this coming Friday night. They’ll face off against the 4th-seeded Lincoln Cardinals, who advanced yesterday after defeating Gresham 28-14. Kickoff is set for 7 pm at Sheldon High School.