Week #13: 11/24/15 -Sheldon Coach Lane Johnson

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11/24/15

Only one local team remains with a chance to win a football State Championship. The Sheldon Irish advanced to the 6A semi-finals with a 33-0 quarterfinal win over Clackamas and will face the Jesuit Crusaders (12-0). This is a rematch,  yes that has been a theme at all classifications of Oregon High School football for this year’s playoffs, of a week #2 classic held at Dennis Ludwig Stadium where the Crusaders prevailed in double overtime, 61-55.  The Irish (10-1) are back in the semi-finals for the second consecutive year and fourth time in the last five years. 

This week we have a chance to speak with Sheldon Coach Lane Johnson and talk about the quarterfinal win over Clackamas and the numerous red zone stops the Irish defense made in this game. We also ask Coach Johnson who his coaching mentors have been over the years, what it’s like coaching at Providence Park/PGE Stadium/Jeld-Wen/Civic Stadium and how the 2015 Irish defense ranks with past Sheldon defensive teams (the 2011 and 2012 teams were pretty spectacular on defense). Just for fun we also ask Coach Johnson how Irish senior quarterback Justin Herbert ranks among some of the all time great Irish QB’s of the recent past (sorry Chris Miller, thinking i.e., Alex Brink, Jordan Johnson, Dillon Miller, Taylor Allie). It’s a fun interview and Coach Johnson loves talking football and especially about his Irish players!

For more info, here is a link to Register-Guard columnist, Austin Meek’s column on Herbert and the Irish:

http://registerguard.com/rg/sports/33753982-81/herbert-is-in-a-class-by-himself.html.csp

We also review all the semi-final games from 1A-5A and the quarterfinal games at the 6A classification. We discuss Ashland’s 63-35 win over Wilsonville and debate whether the Wildcats have a “Midwestern League Problem.” Here are the results of Wilsonville’s recent playoff games versus Midwestern League teams:

2010: Churchill 42 Wilsonville 41 (Rd #1-Cats #1 seed at home)
2011: Marist 49 Wilsonville 14 (QF at North Eugene HS)
2014: Springfield 56 Wilsonville 47 (QF @ North Eugene HS)
2015: Ashland 63 Wilsonville 35 (Semi-final @ Grants Pass HS)

Prep Talk Eugene had the pleasure to call two semi-final games this past weekend on the OSAA Radio Network, Blanchet vs. Santiam Christian and Scappoose vs. North Bend. For broadcasters, being invited to call postseason games is like advancing in the playoffs for players and teams. It was a lot of fun and was the second year in a row we have been selected to call games for the OSAA Radio Network. So cool!

The Irish are 4-2 head to head with the Crusaders and have played some competitive games. Just for fun, here is a look at recent Sheldon vs. Jesuit results:

2015: Jesuit 61 Sheldon 55 (Week #2 @ Sheldon)
2014: Sheldon 29 Jesuit 27 (Week #2 @ Jesuit)
2012: Sheldon 35 Jesuit 28 (Semi-Final @ Jeld-Wen)
2011: Sheldon 52 Jesuit 37 (Week #2 @ Sheldon)
2009: Sheldon 50 Jesuit 43 (State Championship @ Reser)
2006: Jesuit 65 Sheldon 7 (Quarterfinal @ Jesuit)

Here is this week’s show. ENJOY!