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Turnovers key 21-0 loss for White Buffalos against Molalla, but defense had a strong night

LON AUSTIN  - Carter Dunten moves upfield for the Buffs during the 21-0 loss to Molalla March 5 in Madras.
The Molalla Indians took advantage of Madras miscues Friday, March 5 as they rolled past the White Buffalos 21-0 in the Tri-Valley Conference football opener.

"We weren't disciplined, and we turned the ball over four times, five if you count that bad snap on the punt at the end," Madras head coach Kurt Taylor told his team following the game. "This adversity, the hardest thing is what are you going to do in response? But if you are willing to get better and do what the coaches tell you and play Madras football, you will be successful."

The Indians took advantage of an early White Buffalo turnover, scoring shortly after on a four-yard run by quarterback Isaac Thomas Klementis. Cole Beyer kicked the extra point and the Indians led 7-0. Molalla scored again early in the second quarter on a 3-yard run by Blake Olsen. Once again, Beyer's kick was good and with 9:14 remaining in the half, the Indians had a 14-point lead.

Madras returned the ensuing kickoff to their own 33-yard line, and on their first play from scrimmage, Molalla's Logan Blackman stepped in front of a pass from Madras quarterback Reece White, intercepted and returned the ball all the way to the 18-yard line. Four plays later, Klementis hit Jacob Watson on a 17-yard touchdown strike. Beyer's kick was good again, and the Indians held a 21-0 lead.

On their next possession, the White Buffalos moved the ball all the way to the Molalla 25-yard line. However, a sack of White backed the ball up to the 31-yard line, then Matt Mueller intercepted a White pass and returned the ball all the way to the Madras 20-yard line.

With time running down in the first half, Beyer attempted a 35-yard field goal, but the ball went wide left and the two teams went into the half with Molalla still leading by 21 points.

Neither team was able to score in the second half, although both teams did have opportunities.

Madras finished with four turnovers to none for the Indians. Their lack of mistakes, coupled with Madras turnovers, were the key to the game.

Molalla suited just 24 players for the contest but were able to avoid problems with fatigue or injuries as they played solid defense the entire game.

Both teams played solid defense. The White Buffalos held Molalla to just 141 yards of total offense, while Madras was only able to gain just 55 yards of offense.

"It's been 479 days since they played a football game and at the beginning, we were really stoked and ready to play a game — and then when the whistle went off, they kind of got in their heads and forgot about everything we've been working on," Taylor said. "We didn't let them score in the second half, so that's a win, and in all honesty, the three plays that they did score on were three broken coverage plays where we just didn't do our job."

For Madras, White was four for 13 passing for 50 yards, while Molalla's Thomas Klementis went eight for 11 for 108 yards.

Molalla gained just 33 yards rushing on 30 attempts. However, Madras also struggled running the ball, gaining just five yards, also on 30 attempts. Angel Jimenez led all rushers with 52 yards in 10 carries, however, several runners ended up with negative yardage for the White Buffalos.

"Jimenez is a stud," Taylor said. "He will help us out. We've got guys all over the place that have talent. I know we are young, but I don't think it's a physical thing. I think this was major mental hiccup and we just have to figure out why."

The White Buffalos go on the road this Friday to take on the Estacada Rangers, who lost 35-22 to Gladstone last Friday.

"Our defense matches up pretty well with everybody we play, the problem is if we can't put points on the board," Taylor said. "We are going to just do what we do, play Madras football and make these kids better and keep doing what we do to give them some success."

Molalla 21, Madras 0

Molalla 7 14 0 0 – 21

Madras 0 0 0 0 – 0

North Marion – Isaac Thomas Klementis 4-yard run, Cole Beyer kick good.

North Marion – Blake Olsen 3-yard run, Beyer kick good.

North Marion – Jacob Watson 17-yard pass from Klementis, Beyer kick good.

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