Jesuit is now playing as well as anybody in the state, with junior RB/LB Joey Alfieri going off as of late. The Crusaders have all everything tailback/safety AJ Glass back healthy which is a game changer, and the line has been firing on all cylinders. Early losses to Central Catholic and Southridge are not indicative to how they are playing as of right now.
That said the Irish are super legit and come into the game (51-2) over their last 4 seasons, with two state title appearances and a state championship. Sheldon looked phenomenal against Southridge with quarterback Taylor Alie directing his team up and down the field at will. It is very apparent that Jesuit will need to gang tackle Connor Strahm, as multiple defenders continued to bounce off him as he eluded the rest.
I feel that both of these ball clubs are two of the better teams on the west coast, and it will go down to the wire regardless of the outcome. I will take Sheldon in one of the best semi final games played in state history.
Sheldon 28 – Jesuit 26
#1 Sheldon (12-0)
Kid has been playing out of his mind and uses his feet very well; 32 Tds passing with only 7 Ints, 2744 passing yds, 67% Com Pct… 6 rush Tds.
Strahm is a freak and contributes every which way; 512 Rush Yds, 8 Tds… Yadie and Mitch Lewis have both done a great job and got in the end zone 5 with rushing Tds a piece.
Connor is extremely elusive and it always takes more then one defender to take him down after the catch; He has 79 receptions for 992 yards and 13 Tds, while Herbert just continues to get better being ranked our #2 Jr WR state wide with 20 catches for 382 yards and 8 Tds; Dylan Lewis has been a killer on both sides of the ball and has caught 27 passes for 453 yds and 2 Tds.
Faulhaber is one of the most productive TE/WR’s in the region; 44 receptions for 529 yards and 6 Tds… The kid has been absolutely lights out. NEI favorite Mike Ralston has also gotten in the mix as of late with 3 Tds on the season.
The line on both sides has been phenomenal to say the least.. Offensively Asay (58 pancake blocks), and Nielsen (20) have been the senior leaders with Tanner Davies (47 pancakes) being one of the state’s top ranked Jr’s. Tokalty has been a pleasant surprise with 34 pancake blocks and McGovern is one of the state’s top Jr LB’s that plays on the line.
The D line has been dominant and has used speed and size to their advantage; Ralston has accumulated 60 tackles and 8 sacks, while Talty has had a phenomenal Jr year accounting for 83 total tackles and 3 sacks… We have talked about Spears and his wrestling ability and how he uses that on the football field.. The kids a beast on the inside and just causes havoc everywhere he goes; 81 tackles, 4.5 sacks.. Nielsen is just an incredibly talented overall athlete as shown by his full ride to Oregon for baseball, and 35 tackles/2.5 sacks… Lamb has had an outstanding Sr year.
Banks has been a tackling machine racking up 146 in total, averaging 12.2 per game; He anticipates as well as anyone in the NW and is a big reason they are where they are right now… Faulhaber uses that big frame to continue to do work and has accounted for 52 total tackles on the season.
Connor Strahm was a player of the year on both sides of the football in the SWC, although he did make a request to give the award to James Banks who he felt was deserving; That type of leadership is why the Irish have been dominant; Dylan Lewis (2 Int’s) is one of the better DB’s in the state and his brother Mitch (2 Ints) is equally skilled… Sophomore Kellen Strahm has been one of the state’s top youngsters and will get some additional post season opportunities. Herbert is considered one of the top junior safeties in Oregon, and is able to use his length to his advantage.
#4 Jesuit (10-2)
The Crusaders run the ball, but both QB’s are legit and Nistler has played very well as of late. Martinek is one of the top junior athletes in the state.
Alfieri has just gone off in 2012 on both sides of the ball… Last week offensively he accounted for 4 Td’s (2 rushing, 2 receiving) as he has double digit scores on the season.
Glass statistically is one of the best backs in conference and state history and is just getting back to full health; He has rushed for nearly 3500 yards and 50 Tds in the last two seasons even missing most of the Metro League year. Morrison filled in nicely when asked, and is maybe the best sophomore back in the state.
Werner is a prime target if they are going to throw as he can do a lot of things after the catch; He is a phenomenal overall athlete with 5 Tds on the year; Webb is in the same boat and was a 1st team all league DB.
Mondeaux is the real deal and recently hauled in an Oregon St offer along with Alfieri..He is very athletic and mobile for a big man and uses his basketball skills as a big TE to go up and out maneuver defenders. He was a 1st team all league kid.
Kirkland (Washinton Commit) has had a monster year earning first team all league honors and playing as well as any lineman in the state.. Baldocchi and Brenner (Oregon commit) both earned 2nd team all league honors and Rich(WSU Offer) grabbed 3rd in what has ended up being a very successful season for the Crusaders. Ryan Brown has stepped in and played extremely well, while junior Landgraf has been a nice spark. Overall its one of the top lines on the west coast and should provide a stiff test for anyone they play.
Martinek is freaky quick off the end and has earned 1st team all league honors for the last two seasons; Brenner is a beast inside and requires a double team if you don’t want him to disrupt everything, and Braden Nelson had a very successful year earning 2nd team all league honors.
Alfieri has had 120+ tackles and 10+ sacks earning 1st team all league honors on both sides of the ball; His recent Oregon St offer just reconfirmed how talented the kid is.. Its incredible how athletic Mondeaux is for a 6-5 kid playing LB..His mobility is unique to say the least. Werner is more of a safety playing LB, but he too is just very quick and in on almost every play.
Buddy Webb had an outstanding year earning 1st team all league honors from his CB spot, and Morrison stepped up and grabbed 2nd team all league honors after showing that he was one of the top sophomores state wide. Glass is a natural safety starting as a sophomore while at West Linn and having an understanding of the game that most don’t. Coleman has stepped up big.