Cinderella season ends round one
The Madras White Buffalo football team could not stop the Rainier Columbians in a 44-0 loss Friday.
The White Buffalos' defense took the field first and looked sharp to begin the game. Two tackles for a loss set up a third-and-15, but Rainier quarterback Joey Tripp completed a 20-yard pass to wideout Tanner Chapman for a first down.
A series of runs put the Columbians at their own 22-yard line when David Katon ran in a touchdown for Rainier. Tripp ran the ball for a successful two-point conversion and the Columbians took an 8-0 lead around the seven-minute mark in the first quarter.
Madras was on offense before a pass was intercepted by a Rainier defender. The Columbians' offense started at the 32-yard line and drove all the way to the 2-yard line. On fourth-and-goal, Tripp ran the ball up the middle for a touchdown. He also ran in the two-point conversion and the Columbians took an early 16-0 lead.
Madras quarterback Robert Pacheco completed a quick pass to Kobey Jorgensen on third-and-10, but Jorgensen was short of the first down and the Buffalos punted the ball back to Rainier.
A great punt by Byron Patt put the Columbians on the Raineer 24-yard line and held them to another fourth down, but an offsides penalty gave Rainier a first down. The first quarter ended and Madras was down 16-0.
Madras corner Erik Boynton hit Tripp on a pass to force an incomplete pass and on the next play, tackled a Rainier runner for a 3-yard loss, setting up fourth-and-8.
The Columbians decided to go for it on fourth down and the Buffs' defense forcedf an incomplete pass.
The White Buffalo offense was finally able to move the ball in the second quarter. An 8-yard completion to Patt and a couple 5-yard runs by Victor Torres moved the ball down the field. A Madras fumble after a big hit was recovered by Rainier and the Columbians' offense took the field.
On Rainier's first play after recovering the fumble, Tripp ran a 55-yard touchdown run. The two-point conversion was no good and the Columbians had a 22-0 lead with four minutes left in the first half.
Another Madras pass was intercepted by Rainier and the Columbians' offense took the field with great field position.
Joey Tripp faked a run to the outside and when the Madras cornerback came to tackle him, he threw the ball to a wide open Kenney Tripp, who scored on a 20-yard catch and run. Joey Tripp ran the ball up the middle for two points and Rainier took a 30-0 lead at halftime.
In the second half, the White Buffalos' offense was forced to punt the ball.
A series of 23-, 12-, and 35-yard runs by Tripp put the Columbians on the goal line, where Cris Becerra ran the ball up the middle for a 1-yard touchdown. The made PAT increased the score to 37-0 in favor of the Columbians with around four minutes left in the third quarter.
A sack by Rainier forced the Buffs to punt the ball once again and the third quarter ended.
On the next two possessions, both Rainier and the White Buffalos punted the ball during an offensive stalemate.
Rainier was able to march down the field on a series of runs and Korbin Howell scored on an 18-yard run. The PAT was made and the score was 44-0.
Rainier picked off the Buffalos on the next possession and the Columbians' offense took a knee, running the clock down to zero. The Rainier Columbians would beat the Madras White Buffalos 44-0 in the first round of the playoffs.
"We really tried to prepare them for this moment, but they haven't really ever been in this moment," head coach Kurt Taylor said. "We talked all week about how they deserved to be here and they did deserve to be here."
"They worked hard and clinched a playoff spot, however they weren't prepared for what is playoff football," he said. "That might be a product of what the program has been in the past; it might be on us as a coaching staff, trying to get them to understand what that is."
"That wasn't our team and I am so proud of them, tremendously proud of them, but it really boiled down to execution and we just didn't do what we were supposed to do and reach our goals we set for this week," Taylor said. "Our goals were to not turn the ball over and to tackle in a way where they couldn't break off those big runs."
"There are a lot of different factors, but the bottom line is we got beat by a really, really damn good football team," he said.
The Madras football program went from one of the longest losing streaks in Oregon 4A history to winning two games last year, and this season, the White Buffalos won six games and made the state playoffs for the first time in six years.
"This season was a success," said Taylor. "With the exception of the league championship, we met all our goals that we set on the table at the beginning of the year in August. We said we wanted a winning season; we met it. We said we wanted to make the playoffs; we made it. We said we wanted a top 10 defense in the state and we did it."
"The team had two running backs over 500 yards rushing (Treyvon Easterling and Victor Torres) and our offense had close to 3,000 yards," Taylor said. "We had success all around."
"I can't emphasize this enough, but three years ago we could not get these guys to do anything," he said. "To get them to buy into our core values and even more so than that, to work hard and trust the system to get to where we are now is unbelievable."
"I have high expectations for next year, too," Taylor said. "The goal is always to achieve the highest level of football we can play as a team. For us, it is a league title, a playoff game and keep moving forward in the playoffs. We come back with a lot of talent next year and the best part about it is, that group that started as freshmen are going to be seniors and be the first team to go through the program with knowing the other side of the program that was happening here."
"I am excited and I am ready to get back to work," he said. "I am excited for what we will have next year."
"I can't even begin to tell you how proud I am of these seniors this year," Taylor said. "I told the boys at the goal line and it was tough; I broke down in tears and was very emotional. I am more proud as a coach in that moment, with those boys than I have ever been in my coaching career. I am talking state championships, deep in the playoffs, but have never felt more accomplished as a football coach than what I felt tonight, seeing those seniors and what they accomplished."