Tigers suffer tough loss to the Irish
Newberg High gave fifth-ranked Sheldon all it could handle for three quarters Friday evening in the Tigers' third non-conference game of the season before several miscues allowed the dogged Irish came out on top 42-28.
Newberg opened the game's scoring onslaught at the 7:10 mark of the first quarter with a one-yard run by junior running back Hudson Davis to put the Tigers up 7-0. The score salvaged a drive that was previously soured after senior running back Price Pothier scored on a long run, only to have it called back on a holding penalty.
Sheldon responded loudly on its first offensive play of the game when junior quarterback Brock Thomas scampered 70 yards untouched into the end zone on an end around, tying the game 7-7 at the 6:52 mark.
Neither team scored during the remainder of the first quarter. Then, Sheldon appeared to have notched six points on a long halfback pass, only to see the play negated on another costly penalty. Unthwarted, the Irish then scored on a screen pass that went 88 yards, taking the lead 14-7 at the 7:55 point of the second quarter.
The Tigers responded on their next series, with senior quarterback Levi Durrell converting a third and long with a nifty end run to keep the drive alive. Davis and Pothier proceeded to pound the pigskin up field on dive plays until Pothier punched it in from the 12-yard line with 2:24 remaining in the half.
The teams retired to their respective locker rooms tied 14-14 at the half.
Senior linebacker Charlies Evans provided a spark for the Tigers at the beginning of the second half with an interception on a tipped pass at the 11:06 mark of the third quarter.
Durrell and senior receiver Christian Buck took it from there when they connected on a 60-yard pass play to put the Tigers ahead 21-14 on the ensuing play.
Sheldon responded by marching up the field via a combination of misdirection passes and screen plays, but appeared stalled when they were the beneficiary of a questionable defensive pass interference call to keep the drive alive. The Irish scored several plays later on a 14-yard pass play to even the score at 21-21 with 6:54 remaining in the third quarter.
On the ensuing kickoff the Tigers suffered a setback when the ball bounced off Pothier's facemask and into the hands of the Irish, who scored on the next play on another misdirection pass across the field to go up 28-21 with 6:46 remaining in the quarter.
Undaunted, the Tigers staged a workman-like effort, driving the ball up the field on power runs by Pothier and Davis. The delivery of a late hit penalty by Sheldon against an out-of-bounds Durrell at the 20-yard line helped the drive along until Davis could punch it in from the 14-yard line. The point-after kick was good and the score was tied once more at 28-28 with 3:12 remaining in the third quarter.
The Tigers then seized the momentum, if only for a few moments, when senior lineman Hayden Hampton stripped the ball from Sheldon running back at the NHS 28 with 2:18 to play in the third quarter. The celebration was short-lived, however, after Pothier broke through the line and scampered for more than a dozen yards but coughed up the ball upon being tackled.
Sheldon quickly took advantage of the gift when Thomas scored from the 30-yard line with 15 seconds remaining in the quarter to go up 35-28.
The Irish added on an insurance touchdown to go up 42-28 at the 7:15 mark of the final quarter, sealing the Tigers' third loss of the young season.
Sheldon, who plays in the Southwest Conference, advanced to 3-0 on the season and has scored 122 points over the past three weeks.
The Tigers fell to 0-3 on the season and will play their final non-conference game of the season on Sept. 24 when they meet Tigard. Newberg will open Pacific Conference play on Oct. 1 at Sherwood.
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