SPRINGFIELD, Ore. - The Sheldon Irish kept their quest for a second trip to the state championship game alive Friday by beating the Thurston Colts 49-8.
Sheldon v. Lake Oswego, Part 2? Top teams undefeated
The Lake Oswego Lakers beat the Sheldon Irish in the state championship last season, 47-14.
Going into the game, Sheldon’s head coach Lane Johnson said Thurston is "very good. They’re very athletic kids. They run a wide-open offense, so we’ll have to be on the balls of our feet to be able to play with them.”
At the start of the first quarter, the Irish took advantage of a blocked punt when defensive lineman Brett Nielson lay on the blocked ball in the end zone, which put the team up by 7.
With three minutes left in the first, quarterback Taylor Alie connected with wide receiver Connor Strahm, one of Sheldon’s bests, for another touchdown, making the score 14-0.
After another quick pass by Alie to receiver/linebacker Ivan Faulhaber, the Irish went up by yet another 7 points.
Now Thurston’s ball, the Colts’ quarterback threw a pass right into the arms of Faulhaber for a pick six that put the Irish up 28-0 and ended the first quarter.
The Colts then answered Faulhaber’s 35-yard score with a touchdown of their own. At 3rd and goal, with 9:44 left in the second quarter, quarterback Corey Weick made the score 6-28, on a one-yard run. A two-point conversion by the Colts held the score at 8-28.
The Irish came back in the second quarter when wide-receiver Mitchell Herbert caught a laser pass from quarterback Alie to put the Irish up 35-8.
In the third, the Irish piled more points onto the scoreboard. With 7:30 left, running back Dylan Lewis scored on a run, putting the score at 42-8 to start the fourth quarter.
Defensive back Joseph Kuehn was the next player to intercept the Colts, which set up the Irish’s next and final score of the night.
The Colts remained silent, as Irish running back Ryan Fisher capped the scoring, at 7:18 in the fourth, with a run play.
Alie and the Irish racked up seven touchdowns. The Colts were only able to put up 8 points against them.
Before the game, the Irish had given up just 14.14 points per game against their opponents.
The Colts’ lone touchdown put a damper on their average of 23.28 points per game before this match-up.
The Irish now stand at 8-0. With this one-sided win against Thurston, the Irish are one step closer to the state championship game this season.
The Irish are home to play the Grants Pass Cavemen on Friday, Oct. 26, at 7 p.m.