Own goal, rarely enforced foul spell defeat for Buffs

Bizarre plays went the wrong way for the Madras High School boys soccer team in a 3-1 loss to Cascade on Thursday in Turner.

White Buffalos head coach Clark Jones said that a series of strange plays and calls resulted in a pair of goals for the Cougars, but also his club didn’t exactly play its best.

“It’s one of those things where we ended up not playing our best game. We stopped doing what we were good at,” Jones said. “We got a little disorganized. When that happens, it’s pretty hard to win, especially on the road.”

The backbreaker came from what the center official thought was a back-pass violation by Madras. The back-pass violation is when a member of the same team deliberately kicks the ball back to its own goalkeeper, and they handle the pass with their hands.

When the play in question occurred, Jones said, the ball bounced off another player on its way to the keeper, thus nullifying any violation. The referee, however, didn’t see it that way and awarded an indirect free kick from the spot of the alleged violation.

Cascade capitalized on the chance, and scored to make it 2-1.

“It is hard to bounce back from something like that,” Jones said. “I talked to the official, and asked him to ask the other official what he saw, but he wouldn’t do it.”

There were only two officials presiding over the match, rather than the usual three.

Cascade’s first goal came off a corner kick, but it was a Madras defender that put the ball in his own net trying to clear it to safety.

The Buffs got on the board after Andres Escalante scored off a corner kick. The ball was served into a scrum, and then Escalante toe-punched the ball past the Cascade goalkeeper for Madras’ only goal of the match.

After pummeling Redmond 10-2 in the first match of the season, Jones wanted to see how his team would react to playing a more competitive game, and he certainly got that with Cascade, but there were times in the match he wasn’t exactly pleased with how they played.

“We wanted to see how we stacked up, and at times we dominated the game,” Jones said. “But there were some times we were disorganized. That’s the type of game we should win later in the season.”

Jones said his team has the talent to do some great things this year, and the issue is going to be if they can provide the effort level needed to make a postseason run. Jones thinks his team can do it, and with the tough Tri-Valley Conference schedule quickly approaching, the Buffs need to get things in order. They play Ridgeview on Thursday in the team’s last nonconference match.

“I wish I had another nonconference game right now, to be honest,” Jones said. “We’re searching for identity a little bit right now. You learn when you play quality teams, but our seniors and captains know they can win and they have confidence.”

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