Sheldon 9-0 into the playoffs: 'It’s a start of a new season for us.'

EUGENE, Ore. -- Quarterback Taylor Alie helped lead the Sheldon Irish to yet another win – a 62-7 rout over Grants Pass - in their 2012-13 season. When asked about going undefeated for the year, Alie said, “The first two games were tough, but the fact that we came out and played Sheldon football and went 9 and 0, that was big.” 

It was a seemingly similar road for the Sheldon High School football team tonight; a road that they hoped to follow all the way to the end. Wide receiver Connor Strahm said, “A lot of guys came out to play tonight. Guys that normally get in the end-zone two or three times a game got in the end-zone two or three times, and that was good for them.”

On senior night, after just a mere 16 seconds had gone by in the first quarter of the Sheldon vs. Grants Pass football game, the #1 ranked team in the state showed their fans why they remained the leaders of the pack, with a quick touchdown on the first offensive play. 

Quarterback Alie launched a missile into the arms of wide receiver Mitchell Herbert to start the Irish blowout against the Grants Pass Cavemen.

The Irish were back on offense within two minutes after the Cavemen failed to score in the beginning of the first quarter. To set up the next Irish touchdown, Alie threw a quick pass to wide receiver Dylan Lewis. Then, wide receiver Strahm ran the ball in out of a wildcat formation, to put the Irish up 14-0 with 9:54 left in the first quarter.

Yet again in the first quarter, the Cavemen failed to answer back, forcing them to punt. With 8:11 left in the first, Alie chucked a short pass to Herbert, who then ran it in for another touchdown on the night, making the score 21-0.

The Grants Pass Cavemen then took over on offense, only to throw an interception to Sheldon defensive back/running back Mitch Lewis. With 6:40 left in the first quarter, Lewis ran it in for an Irish score; putting Sheldon up 27-0.

Alie said, “We came out and executed on offense very early and then defense held up their end. The life kind of got sucked out of Grants Pass… It was a good way to go on senior night.”

After kickoff, the Cavemen tried scoring once again. They failed, as defensive lineman Liam Talty was the next Irish player to score another pick six in the first quarter. Talty’s touchdown put the Irish up 35-0.

On offense, with 1:57 left, in the first quarter, the Irish put up another seven points with Alie’s swift toss to Mitch Lewis, which embedded the score at 42-0.

At the start of the second quarter, the Cavemen got off to a nice start, only to be picked off, again, by Irish defensive back Dylan Lewis. The interception set up the only Irish scoring drive in the second quarter. 

Wide receiver Yadie Dunmore brought it in for the Irish touchdown, making the score 49-0. 

In the second quarter, Sheldon made one of their rare miscues of the night, with a fumble, giving the ball over to the Cavemen.

It wasn’t Grants Pass’ ball for long, as the Irish defense bailed the offense out, with a Mitchell Herbert interception. 

With the Irish in possession of the ball again, there were a few notable run plays by running backs Ryan Fisher and Gaje McDaniel. Then, in the third quarter, Fisher passed the ball to wide receiver Spencer Clark who ran it in for a Sheldon touchdown, making the score 55-0, with the Irish missing the PAT.

Earning a spot in the end-zone, wide receiver Chico Barajas had the final touchdown of the night for the Irish, putting the score at 62-0 at the end of the third quarter. 

The last touchdown of the night came from the Grants Pass Cavemen with a run play to freeze the score at 62-7.

With another lop-sided win under the Irish belt, the team must now prepare for the playoffs.  

“It was a good season for us," said receiver Strahm. “We’re not banking on going undefeated for the rest of the year. We’ve got to work hard for the playoffs. It’s a start of a new season for us.”