Three straight: Madras wins conference
The Madras White Buffalos became Tri-Valley Conference champions for the third year in a row after defeating Estacada 8-0 on Oct. 23.
Madras, which has 11 seniors on their varsity team, played under the lights at the football field for the game.
The Buffs came out slow on their senior night game. They had several very close shots and many chances to score, but could not manage to find the back of the net for the first 18 minutes of the game.
Madras scored the first goal of the game when Melchor Olivera made a lead pass to Andres Acuna. Acuna dribbled by one defender and with another defender on his hip, fired a low kick past the Estacada goalie. The goal gave the Buffs a 1-0 lead and a jolt of energy.
Less than three minutes later, Acuna was able to find a wide open Alex Diaz in the middle of the field. Diaz received the pass and took a low, accurate shot that found the back of the net, giving Madras a 2-0 lead.
With 16 minutes left in the first half, Cesar Aguirre made a picture perfect pass to Acuna. Aguirre lofted the ball into the air and Acuna headed the ball past the goalie.
A few plays later, Tyriek Rodriguez took a long shot from around 30 feet out. The shot went high and curved right into the net, giving the White Buffalos a 4-0 lead with around 14 minutes left until halftime.
With about two minutes left in the first half, both Acuna and Diaz were able to get off an open shot, but both shots were blocked by the Rangers goalie.
The Rangers took a shot with little time left in the half, but Madras goalie Byron Patt made a diving save. The ball was still in play with the net wide open. Both teams were scrambling for the ball and White Buffalo defender Chapin Grote was able to keep the Madras shutout alive. The Buffs had a 4-0 lead at halftime.
In the second half, Raymond Garcia, of Estacada, was trying hard to get the Rangers back in the game. He had a great header to the the top right of the goal, but Patt had another great save, that time one-handed.
Diaz made a loft pass to Rigoberto Alonzo around the 30-minute mark and Alonzo leaped in the air. He headed the ball into the goal to give the Buffs a 5-0 lead.
Only a short time later, Jesus Alonso received a pass from a goalie kick by Grote. The pass bounced off the ground over the top of a Ranger defender and right to a sprinting Alonso.
One-on-one with the Estacada goalie, Alonso fired a low kick and scored, advancing the Buffs lead to 6-0.
With around 20 minutes left in the game, Olivera gave a lead pass to Javier Sedano. Sedano received the lead pass, saw the Estacada goalie was coming out of the box toward him and shot a low kick for a goal.
Patt, who is both the Madras goalie for the varsity soccer team and wide receiver for the varsity football team, was pulled from goalie and replaced by Acuna. Madras wanted to get senior Patt, who has already scored several touchdowns for the football team, a goal for the soccer team on senior night.
In the first 30 seconds after sending Patt to striker, he almost scored on two very close shots that were blocked. With around seven minutes left in the game, Patt chased down a lead pass heading toward the goal.
It was a race between the Rangers goalie and Patt. Patt was able to get to the ball inches before the Estacada goalie and took a shot. The ball rolled past the goalie and slowly across the line for a score.
"It feels great," Patt said about being able to score a goal and a touchdown in the same season. "It was my first time playing striker and I think I did pretty good. I thought they were going to block it for a second, but it went in, so I was happy."
Madras ended the game winning 8-0 over the Estacada Rangers. The Buffs finished the regular season 10-3-1 overall and 7-2-1 in league.
"This feels unreal," Acuna said about their senior night win. "I have been playing with these guys since we were young. It feels so cool to see everybody grow up and play together. It is so surreal that I am a senior and this is my last season."
"Some of our seniors that don't normally play a lot or score a lot were able to get on the score sheet," he said. "That was really cool to see and we played like a real team tonight."
They hosted a state playoff game on Oct. 30, after the Pioneer's deadline.
"If we come out with the same intensity we had against Molalla, we can keep that going into the playoffs, going into facing good teams, we can come up on top," said Acuna.
"They are resilient," said head coach Clark Jones, regarding the team becoming the Tri-Valley league champs for the third year in a row. "It takes a good team to know what to do after a loss. Some teams will give up and we didn't. After losing to North Marion, we had three really good games in a row. They pulled together and have been looking better than ever."
"Sometimes losing is a reality check," he said. "Just because we were good in the past doesn't mean we will be good again. This team didn't want to be the team that didn't do this. We had three really good teams in our league that are at the top and we didn't blink in the end. That is why were are at where we're at."
"You take it one game at a time," Jones said. "You never look past your next game. The dynamics of these seasons are really interesting. I think a lot of good teams are going to lose early in the playoffs and I don't expect us to be one of them."