Sheldon routs West Salem behind 5 TD's from Johnson Jr.

Sheldon Irish quarterback Micheal Johnson (#1) scrambles away from West Salem Titans defensive back Simon Thompson (#1, white jersey). Photo by Dan Morrison, Oregon News Lab

EUGENE, Ore. - The highly-anticipated game between Sheldon and West Salem was originally scheduled for Friday night at Sheldon High School.

On Friday afternoon, it was delayed to Saturday night at Sheldon due to poor air quality in Eugene.

Then it was moved to Cottage Grove High School on Saturday night due to poor air quality in Eugene.

And yet again, the game was postponed to Monday night at Sheldon because of - you guessed it - poor air quality in Eugene.

Finally on Monday night, the two highly-touted 6A programs met under the lights, and if you're a fan of the Irish, it was worth the wait.

Michael Johnson Jr. came to play, finishing with five total touchdowns in Sheldon's 41-7 route of the Titans.

The No. 1 dual-threat QB had three touchdowns through the air and two on the ground, including runs of 39- and 59-yards.

Although West Salem was expected to be the toughest competition the Irish faced yet this season, the outcome was rarely in question from the opening kick.

An interception for Sheldon's Raymond Woodie set up Johnson's 39-yard TD run early in the 1st quarter, and the Irish found the endzone again two minutes later with a pass to Jack Folsum for a 14-yard TD with 5:58 remaining in the quarter.

Sheldon entered the half with a 20-0 lead, and had managed to score 34 points before West Salem could get on the board with 10:55 left in the game.

After three days of anticipation, the Irish proved that they are a real contender in the 6A conference this year. Star talent is spread across the field, and first-year head coach Josh Line has players buying into the system.

A lot of eyes were on Sheldon coming into this game, and a blowout victory over West Salem proved at least one thing:

There is a championship-caliber team waiting in Eugene.

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