Sheldon Irish - Page 5

Plenty To Play For Besides State Pride…

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By Sam Finley, EDN Sports Editor

The things you love about college football can also break your heart. That’s how you had to feel last weekend if you’re an Oregon fan. After nearly coming back from a 24-point deficit against a stacked USC team, a field goal attempt by kicker Alejandro Maldonado sailed just to the left.

Thus, the now-tenth ranked Ducks lost 38-35 to the Trojans. Moreover, any hopes of returning for the BCS Championship game went out the window with the upset. Still, Oregon has plenty to play for. By winning this Saturday against Oregon State, they’ll clinch the Pac-12 North Division and will host the inaugural conference championship game (and fight for the rights to the Rose Bowl) the following Friday. In the meantime, they haven’t been holding a pity party over what might’ve been.

Oregon running back LaMichael James knows that winning against the Beavers is a must to advance to the Pac-12 Championship. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)

“The kids are great,” said Oregon defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti. “They’re resilient and they bounce back. I think the loss hurt and stung hard on Saturday, but the feel-sorry-for-yourself bus left Sunday night and none of our guys were on it.”

In fact, some of the Ducks consider the recent defeat a life lesson of sorts.

“You learn something from every game whether you win or lose,” said safety John Boyett. “Every one is a learning experience, because you go back, watch the film, and see what you did right or wrong. You use that to become a better player and help your team win the following game.”

With that in mind, the Ducks still have to do one small thing against the Beavers.

“We’ve got to win,” said running back LaMichael James. “It means a lot more now because of the loss to USC. When you lose a game, you can’t wait to play the next one and we’re really fired up.”

Of course, the fans on both sides will be fired up. Even with nothing on the line, the Civil War Game is always huge in this state. Just don’t tell that to the players, who are treating it as another day at the office.

“It’s a big state rivalry,” explained Boyett, “so it’s big for the fans and the people who live here in Oregon.  But as a player, it’s just another game and you have to handle your business accordingly.”

“I still don’t know what it means,” James claimed about the meaning of the rivalry. “I know what it means to me and (to) treat every game like it’s the Civil War, and that’s the way you’re supposed to take it. I just play this game like I’d play everybody else. That’s the way it just has to be.”

You can, however, ask some of the people who have been around the Oregon program for years. Gary Campbell, who started his tenure as the running backs’ coach in 1983, has been a part of some great Civil War Games — and some stinkers, like the infamous ‘Toilet Bowl.’

“It was a zero-zero tie,” he laughed. “It was the first time I’ve ever been involved in something like that or even heard of possible game ending with no points for either team. I was certainly pleased when they brought those ties to an end in college football. But it was a miserable game, and I don’t think either school was happy about it.”

In the games that have had winners, one guarantee is a year of humiliation for the losers. In this matchup, there is added drama. As stated previously, if the Ducks take this one, they can play for a third consecutive BCS Bowl appearance. On the other hand, if the 3-8 Beavers win, they can make their own season by putting a damper on their cross-state rivals.

“It means bragging rights for the state of Oregon,” said Campbell. “In this case, it also means the Pac-12 North. So, it’s a big deal.  It doesn’t matter what the records are between the two teams. They go out the window with the hatred between the schools. It’s a nice kind of hatred, but it’s about two teams that want to reign in the Northwest.”

“It’s a always a big game,” explained Aliotti. “It decides who is in control of the state for that year. But this time, even though you don’t like to say it, there are things riding on this weekend. If we win, we’re Pac-12 North Champs, and they’d like to take that away from us.”

Markus Wheaton and the Beavers would love to spoil the Ducks' season. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)

If we learned anything from last week, it’s that we play the games for a reason. No, Oregon State is not even close to being as dangerous as USC. But they do have weapons on their offense, beginning with their freshman quarterback Sean Mannion.

“They throw the hell out of the ball,” Aliotti stated about the Beavers’ passing attack. “They have guys like Markus Wheaton and they throw it down the field a lot. They run a lot more deep routes than most teams we’ve played, and they haven’t tried to run the ball as much in past years. But I do expect them to run some to set up the throw.”

On the other side of the ball, while the OSU defense doesn’t appear scary on paper, they still possess guys like safety Lance Mitchell and cornerback Jordan Poyer. Moreover, the Beavers have this nasty tendency to get better late in the season.

“Oregon State always plays good defense,” said Campbell. “Their defensive coordinator, Mark Banker, does a great job.  They’ve got some guys that really buy into what he’s teaching, and they’ve got some good athletes who are hungry. The Beavers tend to get better as the year goes on, no matter how good or bad they are. By the end of every season, they’re much better than when they started.”

With than in mind, how do the Ducks come out ahead with more than state pride on the table?

“We’ve got to play pass defense,” said Aliotti. “That means underneath coverage, deep coverage, and rushing the quarterback. When I say that, I don’t just mean the secondary, I mean everybody.”

“The team who makes the least amount of mistakes… whoever doesn’t turn the ball over is going to win the game,” said Campbell.

With that in mind, I guess it’s time for me to tell you how this one is going to play out. Okay, I was wrong last week, but I’ve been right nine out of 11 times so far. Certainly anything can happen, and if Oregon plays a sloppy first half, they’re asking for trouble.

That being said, I don’t see that happening come Saturday. In recent seasons, the Ducks have come back more determined after a loss and have made the next opponent pay for it. We may see an almost laser-like focus from the Oregon offense at the start of this one.

Provided they take care of the ball, as Campbell said, there’s no way OSU will keep up with these guys. In the end, that will be more than enough for the Ducks to roll away with a 52-17 beat down over the Beavers.

Now onto some other items. Unless you’ve been living under a Plymouth Rock, you know that Thanksgiving is this week. That’s why I found out what some of the Ducks are thankful for.

“Thanksgiving is every day for me,” said James. “I’m very thankful to play football. I’m also thankful to be here with my friends and teammates. I’m very blessed just to be in college. That’s why I say it’s every day for me.”

“I’m just thankful to be a part of this team,” explained Boyett. “I’m thankful to play for the coaches that we have and am excited just to play another game.”

Both are very good answers from two of the sincerest players you will meet in college football. I’m certainly thankful that I get to cover a team that has (more often than not) players who act like winners on and off the field.

Oregon safety John Boyett is thankful to be part of a great football team. (Photo Credit: Steve Dykes/Getty Images)

But that’s not all I’m appreciative about during this holiday. I’m thankful to have several wonderful family members and I’m sorry I can’t be with all of them on Thursday. I’m thankful for the many friends I’ve made over the years, as well as a few more that I’ve made in recent weeks. (You know who you are).

This Thanksgiving, however, I have one more thing to be thankful for: a wonderful opportunity at EDN. Yes, the operation has some cobwebs to clear, but I’m still very much committed to making this site the “go-to” place for local sports. Trust me, folks. You ain’t seen nothing yet.

We’ll resume our sports coverage on Friday night. Our own Alex Shoemaker will be covering the Sheldon game against Grant. The Irish will have to play better if they want to advance to the next round of the 6A OSAA playoffs. But something tells me their coach, Lane Johnson, will have his boys ready.

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

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.”

 

The Stakes Are Even Higher Now…

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By Sam Finley, EDN Sports Editor

Let’s get this one out of the way: Lindsay McCormick and I were right. We said in last Friday’s column that Oregon would topple Stanford in Palo Alto. Sure enough, the Ducks stunned the nation by spanking the Cardinal 53-30 on Saturday.  Before the contest, a lot of ‘experts’ claimed that Stanford’s power game was mightier than Oregon’s quickness. Most of those guys forgot about two little words: speed kills.

LaMichael James rushed for 146 yards against the Cardinal, but don't talk to him about the Heisman. (Photo Credit: Harry How/Getty Images)

The Ducks set the tone when linebacker Dewitt Stuckey intercepted an early Andrew Luck pass, (who may have tossed his ‘inevitable’ Heisman with it). Shortly thereafter, the Ducks were up 8-0. True, the Cardinal kept it close for three quarters, but they showed the weakness of their ball control style of play.

In order for that kind of offense to work, your team has to have a slight lead, so you can smash the running back at the defense for a few yards (or get another five with a play action pass) while taking a few minutes off the clock in the process.

Against Oregon the Cardinal found themselves in the position of having to play chase. The Ducks would zip down the field and score in 60 seconds or less, and Stanford was puffing and wheezing just to keep it a one-posession game.  Eventually they got worn out, and that’s when the roof caved in on their BCS title hopes.

Meanwhile, with this victory, the fourth-ranked Ducks are clearly back in the national championship hunt. A couple more dominoes have to fall, but now a January trip to New Orleans (as opposed to Pasadena) doesn’t seem as far-fetched as it did after the opening loss to LSU. That being said, don’t expect Oregon head coach Chip Kelly to spend his time lobbying for a higher ranking in the next three weeks.

“It doesn’t work that way,” said Kelly. “You all have your opinions and you’re going to formulate them based on what you see on the field and how the game is won. I don’t think anyone votes LSU as number one because Les Miles is standing on top of a soapbox saying so. I’ve never seen anybody get a ranking because the coach lobbied for it.”

Terrell Turner and the Oregon defense has been getting better every week. (Photo Credit: Harry How/Getty Images)

Nor should you place any bets on running back LaMichael James to talk up any possible Heisman Trophy honors. Some might argue that he got himself back in the race by rushing for 146 yards against Stanford. But his priorities are elsewhere.

“I don’t care about the Heisman at all,” said James. “I only care about winning games.”

And that’s how it should be when the stakes are now higher than ever for this season. If the Ducks lose one game from worrying about potential honors, then any arguments will become a very moot point. Remember, they haven’t even won the Pac-12 North yet.

“It’s wasted energy for us,” Kelly explained. “Our energy is solely focused on getting ready for a really good USC team. That’s the one thing we can control.”

Indeed, USC comes to town this weekend and will be fired up. Although the Trojans are currently atop the Pac-12 South standings, they can’t play in the inaugural conference championship game nor can they go to a bowl – they still have a little thing called ‘probation’ to contend with. So, for the Men of Troy, this is their BCS game. Knocking off the Ducks would send a message to the rest of the nation that they’re still a force to be reckoned with. While Stanford might’ve been the best overall conference foe Oregon has played this year, USC could be the most talented.

“They may have the fastest receivers we’ve faced,” said linebackers’ coach Don Pellum. “Matt Barkley is a really good quarterback. They’ve got a really talented line. Is it the best we’ve faced? It’s the best this week, because that’s who we’re playing.”

“They’re better than they were a year ago,” Kelly stated. “Barkley is playing at another level as a junior. They’ve also improved on the defensive side of the ball, and have a better understanding of what their coaching staff is doing.”

USC's Matt Barkley has become one of the best quarterbacks in the Pac-12. (Photo Credit: Harry How/Getty Images)

Then again, USC having a solid squad is nothing new in the college football world.

“What I see is another talented USC team,” claimed Pellum.  “They’ve got hard-running backs, like Marc Tyler, that break tackles. They always have blocking tight ends, and they’ve got a great scheme. It’s been the same USC formula since I started my college career.”

By the same token, the Oregon defense should be up for the challenge. The defensive line, led by Terrell Turner, has delivered some key sacks in recent weeks. The secondary has finally started getting takeaways. And linebackers Stuckey and Michael Clay are playing at a much higher level than when the season started.

“We’ve gotten a little better as group every week,” Pellum explained. “One guy has performed well in one game a little better than another guy. But the nice thing is, overall, the group has been consistent. We’ve simply achieved this through hard work.”

It will be up to the defense to slow the Trojan attack down, which might be easier said than done.

“You’d better tackle the tailbacks,” said Pellum. “Historically, that’s the way it has always been. You’ve also got to pick and choose when to pressure them and you’ve got to find a way to limit explosion plays.”

So how does this one play out? Maybe it is appropriate that the opponent is from Los Angeles, because there will be plenty of drama between now and Saturday. Will James run for over 100 yards again? Can De’Anthony Thomas run wild against a stacked USC defense? Can the Kardashian family please go away? Whoops, wrong story.

Marc Tyler is the featured back in the USC attack. (Photo Credit: Harry How/Getty Images)

In the end, while the Trojans may have the weapons to hang with the Ducks for four quarters, I don’t think it’ll be enough to spoil the party (especially at Autzen, where the crowd will be even more amped than usual). Oregon will win a wild 52-35 shootout over the boys from Southern California.

Now onto some other quick items, starting with high school football. You have to tip your hat to Sheldon head football coach Lane Johnson. After years of serving as an assistant to his brother Marty, he has done an outstanding job of continuing the Irish’s winning ways this season. Last week, Sheldon ripped up Clackamas 50-0 in the first round of the 6A OSAA playoffs. It’s safe to say that Lincoln High will be a stiffer joust in the second round game on Friday. But win or lose, it’s clear Johnson has the program on the right track and we should be seeing them in the championship game.

Staying on prep sports, we’ll be ramping up our high school basketball coverage within the next three weeks, stay tuned as they say.  Until next time, I’ll see you in the bleachers.

 

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.

 

Sheldon lightyears ahead of Crater…

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Sheldon 42, Crater 0

The Sheldon Irish had no problem kicking the Crater Comets into another solar system.  Putting up 464 yards of total offense, the Irish cruised to a 42-0 victory on Friday night.

Quarterback Dillion Miller led the attack with 216 passing yards and two touchdowns.  Senior running back Ryan Land also did his part with 127 yards and two scores of his own.

The Irish defense was equally tough, holding the Comets’ to a paltry 28 yards of total offense.

The victory kept Sheldon’s undefeated season intact with an overall 6-0 record.  More importantly, with their 4-0 Southwest conference record, they kept pace at the top of the standings with South Medford.

South Medford 45, Thurston 32

The South Medford Panthers remained tied for first place in the SWC with a 45-32 victory over the visting Thurston Colts on Friday.  Panthers quarterback Jack Singler had a solid evening, throwing for 256 yards and three touchdowns.

Thurston’s Chad Olson also had a decent outing with three touchdown passes.  But the Colts simply could not keep pace with the Panthers late in the game.

Roseburg 61, South Eugene 7

Those poor Axemen just can’t even catch a break at home. South Eugene fell again on Friday, this time to Roseburg in a 61-7 blowout.  The loss dropped the Axemen’s overall record to 0-6, and their demise was relatively quick against the Indians.

Roseburg catapulted to a 28-7 lead in the first quarter and never looked back. The Indians’ record is now an overall 5-1, and they remain a game behind Sheldon and South Medford in the SWC standings.

Willamette 55, Marshfield 13

The Wolverines’ octane was in full force on Friday against the Pirates.  Willamette showed little mercy, crushing Marshfield 55-13.

Willamette running back Jordan Visarraga ran for 183 yards and four touchdowns.  Quarterback Dustin Leber also had a hot hand, throwing for 222 yards and two scores on the night.

The Wolverines extended their Midwestern League record to 3-1, and have a pivotal matchup in a few days.  They’ll visit top ranked Marist in a game that could very well decide the winner of the MWL title.

Marist 49, Churchill 19

The top-ranked Spartans got it going early and often against the Lancers.  Marist scored 35 points before halftime in a 49-19 laugher over visting Churchill.

Spartans’ running back Greg Park ran for 171 yards on the night.  Quarterback Kamerun Smith went 12-for-27, throwing for 156 yards and four touchdowns.

Marist’s overall record is now 6-0, and they’ll host Willamette this coming Friday.

Springfield 35, Eagle Point 34 (OT)

It was a crazy affair at Silke Field on Friday night, as the Springfield Millers squeaked by the Eagle Point Eagles 35-34 in overtime.

The Millers trailed 28-21 with just over a minute to go in the fourth quarter, before quarterback Britton Auxier tied it up with a touchdown pass to Dylan Piquette.

Eagle Point scored a touchdown on their possession in overtime, taking a 34-28 lead. (They missed an ensuing two-point conversion attempt).

Springfield answered with a three yard keeper by Auxier, and kicker Ashton Summers hit the extra point that turned out to be the difference of the ballgame.

Hey High School sports fans!  Would you like your game score posted on our sports page?  Just send your scores to [email protected]

Photo Courtesy: Getty Images

Valley Prep Teams Dominate Opposition

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Churchill 46, Springfield 30

Churchill’s Mitch Reese had the hot hand last night.  The Lancers’ quarterback threw four touchdown passes, helping his team outlast the Springfield Millers 46-30. Reese didn’t just give the Millers’ defense trouble with his arm, but also with his feet.

Photo Courtesy: Getty Images

Early in the first quarter, Reese started the Lancers’ lighting of the scoreboard by running for a seven yard score.  Then the Lancers scored on their very next offensive series, when Reese threw his first touchdown pass of the night: a 90 yard screen to Tucker Molinski.

The Lancers have now won two in a row after starting the year with close defeats to Eagle Point and Ashland.  They’ll host top-ranked Marist next Friday.

Springfield quarterback Britton Auxier threw for 247 yards and one touchdown pass, but the Millers simply could not keep pace with the Lancers’ attack.  With the defeat, they are now 1-3 in Midwestern League Play.

Marist 47, Eagle Point 13

The Spartans had a game on their hands for a half, but eventually showed why they are the state’s top-ranked 5A team last night against Eagle Point.  After leading 7-6 at halftime, Marist pounded the Eagles 47-13.

Spartans’ quarterback Kamerun Smith threw four touchdowns in the rout, as Marist improved their overall record to 5-0.  They’ll next visit Churchhill next week in a critical Midwestern League showdown.

Thurston 30, Grants Pass 6

The Thurston Colts rebounded from a frustrating home loss to Roseburg, thrashing the Grants Pass Cavemen 30-6 last night.  After being shut out from the scoreboard against the Indians, Thurston had few problems moving the ball.  The Colts compiled over 377 yards of offense, and also took advantage of two Grants Pass turnovers in the rout.

The victory improved the Colts overall record to 4-1, and are now 2-1 in Southwest conference play.  Their next game will be on the road against South Medford on Friday.

Sheldon 57, North Medford 7

The Irish had virtually no problems handling the Black Tornadoes on the road.  Sheldon quarterback Dillion Miller threw for 332 yards and two touchdown passes, leading the Irish to a 57-7 bruising over North Medford.  They’ll be back in Eugene next Firday for their Homecoming game against Crater.

McKenzie 88, Lowell 80
It was a track meet (as can be the case in the eight man Mountain West League games) in Blue River, as the McKenzie Eagles outgunned the Lowell Devils 88-80.  Eagles’ quarterback Will Totten led the way with 617 yards of offense.  Totten threw for 500 yards and had 10 touchdown passes.  He also ran for 117 yards and a score.

The victory improved McKenzie’s overall record to 4-1, and their league record now stands at 2-0.  The Eagles will take their high-scoring act on the road next week when they visit the Mapleton Sailors.

Junction City 7, Sisters 0

The lowest scoring game of the evening had to be in Junction City. Tigers’ running back Joe Schacher ran for a four yard touchdown late in the third quarter for the only score of the night, as Junction City held off Sisters 7-0.  It was their first victory this season.  The 1-3 Tigers will try for their second win of the year at Cottage Grove next Friday.

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