We want to welcome aboard Aloha junior running back Thomas Tyner as a guest blogger at ESPNHS Oregon. The Oregon recruit is one of the state's premier athletes (track and football) and has developed an interest in journalism, which made him a no-brainer for a high school correspondent. He will make guest spots throughout the year to assist us in coverage of Oregon sports. We asked Thomas to give us his take on this weekend's Class 6A title game between Lake Oswego and Sheldon for his first assignment. Take it away, Thomas.
As the state is set to declare the top dog in Class 6A, both Sheldon and Lake Oswego are preparing mentally and physically one day at a time. The two spread-type teams will battle it out on the field Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. at Jeld-Wen Field. Both teams boast explosive offenses that can get it done on the ground and through the air, which will be huge Saturday. Throughout the season both defenses have held opponents to a minimum of points, but neither unit has faced a high-octane offense like what they will experience in the finals. Central Catholic gave Sheldon a test, but Sheldon's defense came on strong in the end. Jesuit also gave Lake O a test, but its defense came out strong as well.
Besides last week's 18-9 semifinal victory over Central Catholic, Sheldon has outscored opponents by more than 20 points a game this season. Sheldon's players have wanted to play Lake O all season after they took a 45-14 beating from the Lakers in last year's playoff quarterfinals. The Irish will come into this game looking for revenge and to walk out with a ring on their fingers.
Lake O has the potential to change the crowd’s mind on the outcome as Sheldon enters the contest No. 1 in the state. Sherwood transfer and Portland State commit Steven Long has had a big impact on offense this year and brings energy out of the backfield in this championship matchup. Long has made a successful debut in jumping from 5A to 6A, earning Gatorade Player of the Year honors and rushing for more than 1,800 yards and 33 touchdowns.
This will be the fourth time Lake O competes in the state championship in the past decade. This team will not only be playing to get a ring, but playing for the 27 seniors on the team who have worked their entire high school career for this moment. Sheldon has won three state championships in the last decade, but will they have enough to make it four? Four titles in one decade; that would be unbelievable.
My prediction: Sheldon, 28-24.