The Madras White Buffalo soccer program flipped the switch in the last 25 minutes of their Sept. 19 home game to tie North Marion 2-2.
The Buffs were down the entire game, until their relentless pressure at the end of the game helped them score two goals.
"I told everyone coming in they (North Marion) would be athletic and well-coached." head coach Clark Jones said. "It was a tale two halves, actually more like three-quarters of the game and the last quarter of the game. We finally started playing the way we were capable of."
The Buffs could not get things going in the first half, and were down 1-0 early. Edgar Lopez, of North Marion, stayed with the ball after bouncing off Madras defenders and made a shot in the top right corner of the net.
The Buffs had two very open shots on goal in the first half, but couldn't find the right touch as the ball was easily blocked by the Huskies goalie.
Madras found themselves down 1-0 at halftime and were looking to play better in the second half.
A few minutes into the second half, the Huskies shot a free kick 20 feet out. Rene Segura Ramos took the shot for North Marion and the ball bounced in after being partially blocked.
Madras went on a relentless attack in the last 25 minutes of the game with nonstop pressure and several shots on goal.
A Buffalo corner kick ended up going to Yahir Aguirre, who passed it to an open Andres Acuna in the middle of the field. Acuna lined the ball up and made the shot, cutting the Huskies lead down to 2-1.
"Once the other team was tired, we were able to take advantage of it and scored two good goals," said Jones. "We went against the wind in the first half and with the wind the second half, which makes a big difference. When you have athletic kids and a good amount of field to run on, it makes for a good combination and that is what happened at the end."
Madras looked like they were going to score again on another corner kick. The Buffs kicked the ball in front of the net to Esteban Gomez, who headed the ball over the goalie and toward the back of the net. A North Marion defender stood right in front of the goal and was able to block the shot with his chest and kick the ball away.
Madras' nonstop offensive attack forced a North Marion hand ball and a penalty kick for Melchor Olivera. Melchor kick the ball hard and low to the bottom right corner and tied the game at 2-2.
With four minutes left in the game, Acuna took a tough shot that hit the side of the net, along with other close White Buffalo shots.
"I knew I was going to make it," Olivera said. "I was thinking about it too much, but I knew I needed to make it to tie the game. I am happy with the result of not losing."
With time ticking away, the Madras desperation to score allowed them to get several shots up. The Huskies were on their heels, trying to do everything they could to stop the barrage of Madras shots.
Two corner kicks, with one minute left to play, were very close to scoring, but missed wide or were blocked.
The Buffalos had around 10 shots on goal in the last 15 minutes, but the time ran out and Madras ended the game tied with North Marion 2-2.
"We need to pass the ball more and be more consistent instead of always trying to push," Olivera said. "Make the easy passes."
"Overall, I think it was a pretty good experience to come back from that big of a hole," Jones said. "It is early in league and it is not a terrible thing to happen. Not the result we wanted, but it is still a positive one. We still need to clean a few things up on defense and the pressure in the middle."
"A tie rather than a loss is huge," he said. "It makes a lot of difference; it doesn't hurt or help us when it comes to the power rankings. Last year, we started out with two ties and still owned league. It ends up being you are able to control your destiny a little more, which you can't do with a loss."
"This was a good wake up call, to tell you the truth," Jones said. "It has been a long time since we lost a league game and the kids now know they need to work hard and play everyone hard. This team (North Marion) has been a good rivalry with a class act coach."
The Buffs beat Corbett 3-1 Sept. 17 to start league.
Madras and Corbett were tied 1-1 at halftime, before Madras pulled away for the win.
Leo Gutierrez scored the first score for the White Buffalos.
"Leo used some athletic moves and was able to find the net," Jones said.
Corbett scored on a corner kick before halftime.
"We played 1-1 ball for a long time," said Jones.
In the second half, Tyriek Rodriguez passed the ball in the middle of the field to Alex Diaz after a corner kick. Diaz passed the ball to Esteban Gomez, who made the shot for a 2-1 lead. The Buffs scored one more time at the end of the game and beat the Cardinals 3-1.
"It was not a pretty game, but we will take it," Jones said. "We are still trying to play a complete game like we did with Summit. We have not been able to do that."
The White Buffalos moved to 4-1-1 overall and 1-0-1 in league play. They played at Gladstone Tuesday, Sept. 25, after the Pioneer's deadline. They play at home against Molalla Sept. 27, starting at 4 p.m.