Yadie Dunmore

Sheldon Irish Crush South Medford with 49-14 Win


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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Yadie Dunmore Shines for Irish, Returns 71-Yard Punt for Touchdown

Yadie Dunmore
Yadie Dunmore (right) | (Alex Shoemaker/Eugene Daily News)

The obvious storyline in the Sheldon Irish’s 49-14 blowout over South Medford was star running back/wide receiver Yadie Dunmore. The younger brother of current Duck Oshay Dunmore rushed for 138 yards and amassed over 300 total yards. But the highlight of the night came on a 71-yard punt return for a touchdown.

“It was really good, I think our team really needed it,” Dunmore said about the return. “Last week’s over, but mostly to prove to ourselves that we could still play like Irish.”

And also impressed was Sheldon head coach Lane Johnson.

“We don’t have many breakaway threats and he’s definitely a breakaway threat. He’s a special kid when he runs like that. Tonight he was awesome,” Johnson said.

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

Dunmore and his Irish will travel to Central Point for a league matchup on Friday with the hopes of righting the season and defending their OSAA 6A state title.

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Sports Desk: Churchill Now Moves Into top Spot


chs_logoBehind a huge third quarter, the Churchill Lancers (18-4, 9-0) toped the Sheldon Irish (17-6, 5-1) 67-49 at home to move into the No. 1 spot in the OSAA 5A rankings.

After being tied 12-12 going into the second quarter, the Lancers took a 5-point, 35-30, lead into halftime. It all started to unravel after that. Churchill stepped up both offensively and defensively to outscore Sheldon 19-10 in the third, moving the lead to 14 and essentially sealing the win. Churchill went on to win 67-49, their second consecutive double-digit victory against tough 6A teams (South Eugene and Sheldon).

Sheldon’s Yadie Dunmore led all scorers with 17 points, the only Irish to score in double-digits. Churchill had four guys score 10 or more points. Malik Morgan chipped in 16, while brother Emanuel Morgan scored 10 and David Shedrick and Andrew Smith both scored 12 a piece. Churchill, like all season, is a well-balanced team.

Despite the loss, Sheldon still sits at No. 7 in the OSAA 6A rankings with a firm position heading into the playoffs. South Eugene (15-8, 3-4) is also in a strong spot heading into postseason play. They are currently ranked No. 13.

The Lancers previously sat at the No. 2 spot, but the win against a highly ranked team gave them enough of a boost to pass Jefferson HS of Portland. Churchill has an RPI of 616.60, while Jefferson sits at 614.60. But what really stands out when looking at Churchill is their strong strength of schedule.

No team in all of 5A basketball has a stronger strength of schedule than Churchill. Their OPW (Opponent’s Winning Percentage) is a .564, which accounts for 50% of a team’s ranking.

The OSAA RPI formula is as followsRPI = (250 × WWP) + (500 × OWP) + (250 × OOP)

The team’s winning percentage accounts for 25% of the formula. Opponent’s winning percentage is 50% of the formula. Opponent’s opponent’s winning percentage is 25% of the RPI formula. Whoever created this ranking system WAY over thought it. That formula brings Churchill’s RPI to 616.60, giving them the highest ranking in the state. You can see how they matchup to the top-5 teams by checking the image at the bottom.

Churchill's Malik Morgan (Alex Shoemaker/Eugene Daily News)
Churchill’s Malik Morgan
(Alex Shoemaker/Eugene Daily News)

Churchill’s tough schedule, which features South Eugene and Sheldon twice, is the strongest in 5A basketball. Because of their already strong winning percentage, it’s easy to see why they rank so high. Even if Churchill gets hopped for the No. 1 spot in the final week of the season, it does not make a difference. Churchill is no longer battling for home court advantage. It is already theirs.

Churchill has two remaining games in the regular season. They face Thurston (11-11, 1-7) on Tuesday night and Springfield (10-12, 3-5) on Friday. While I don’t see Churchill losing either one of these games, the fact that they’re playing two teams battling the .500 line, their RPI is going to take a bit of a dip.

But RPI is irrelevant at this point. With the position that Churchill is in, they can easily make their way through the first rounds of basketball and into the quarterfinals. From there they’ll play the remainder of the playoff games in Matthew Knight Arena, with Marist being the only local team still in contention.

Churchill, a strong team at home, will have their home court advantage throughout the playoffs. This really does seem to be the year Churchill wins state.