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Crook County receives eight yellow cards and a red card in road loss to Riverhawks

LON AUSTIN/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Kevin Arroyo plays the ball during a match earlier this year. Arroyo scored one of three Crook County goals on Thursday as the Cowboys lost 5-3 to The Dalles Riverhawks. Elias Villagomez scored the other two Crook County goals.Eight yellow cards and a red card, that's the amount of penalties that the Crook County High School boys soccer team were given on Thursday.

Despite all the cards, the Cowboys still had a chance to win until late in the match, before finally falling 5-3 on the road at The Dalles.

"We played hard and fought to the end," said Crook County head coach Ramone Castaneda. "I don't like to talk bad about refs, but we couldn't get a call. They were on us bad. I even got a yellow card for talking and asking the ref why he carded my player."

Exactly what happened at the match is unclear. Even people who were there do not agree on exactly what happened in the match. What is clear is that whatever happened, The Dalles athletic director Matt Morgan apologized for the conduct of the Riverhawks student section over the public address system prior to the start of Friday night's football game at Crook County between the two schools.

The Cowboys trailed 3-2 at the half. Any chance of coming back ended with about eight minutes remaining in the match when Crook County team captain Elias Villagomez was given a red card.

"Elias got his red card because he asked the ref about one call," Castaneda said. "There was foul after foul by The Dalles with no card."

"I was just doing my job as captain and talking to the ref," Villagomez said. "I asked him why he gave a yellow card to Jesse (Sanchez) because it was his first foul of the match and he just gave me a red card."

The remainder of the match the Cowboys were forced to play shorthanded as once a player receives a red card they must leave the field and the team is not allowed to replace them.

Villagomez, who also plays football, was not allowed to play in Friday's football game because of the red card, and may also miss the team's next soccer match, although Castaneda said that he was planning on appealing the red card.

Losing Villagomez for another match could prove to be difficult for the Cowboys. The senior scored two of the Cowboys' three goals at The Dalles, and is one of the team's most skilled players as well as being a team leader.

Crook County's third goal on Thursday was scored by Kevin Arroyo.

With the loss, the Cowboys fell to 1-5 overall and 0-1 in Intermountain Conference play, while The Dalles improved to 1-4 overall and 1-0 in league.

The Cowboys are back in action on Tuesday when they host Hood River Valley (2-2-2, 1-0) in a 4:30 p.m. match. Crook County returns to the road on Thursday when they travel to Pendleton to take on the Buckaroos (2-2-1, 1-0) in a 6 p.m. match.

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