Buffs stampeded by the Rangers' rushing attack, which gained nearly 300 yards

PMG PHOTO: ANDY DIECKHOFF - Madras quarterback Dru Boyle (9) ran for 60 yards and two touchdowns against No. 1 Estacada on Thursday.Madras was unable to hand Estacada its first loss of the season, as the Buffs fell 42-14 at home on Thursday night. The Rangers move to 6-0 and are easily one of the top teams in the state's 4A classification. Meanwhile, Madras falls to 2-3 as they continue their hunt for a playoff spot.

"They should be ranked number one in the state, for sure," said Madras head coach Kurt Taylor of Estacada. "They're 6-0. They've beaten some very good football teams. They're a good, good team."

The Rangers' run game looks unstoppable

Estacada opened the scoring when their senior running back Jake Behrman ran in the first of his three touchdowns. On the following drive, Rangers quarterback Cory James complete a pass — a rarity in the Estacada offense — and Caleb McDonald took it to the house. Suddenly, the Buffs were down 14-0.

Madras struck back, though, with Dru Boyle punching in a touchdown at the beginning of the second quarter. The Buffs' momentum was immediately neutralized when the ensuing kickoff was returned all the way to the six-yard line. Behrman got his second touchdown on the very next play.

"Estacada's a very good football team," Taylor reiterated. "Very well coached. (Head coach Andy Mott) does an amazing job. They run the option — unbelievable. Their quarterback is a stud. They always have good quarterbacks running that option. With the way they can ride the dive, pull and option, they're just hard to defend." All told, the Rangers rushed for 286 yards and five touchdowns.

With two more unanswered scores before halftime via that running game, the Rangers led 36-6 at the break. That gave Madras a big hill to climb in the second half, though they performed admirably down the stretch. In fact, the Buffs outscored Estacada, 8-6, after halftime.

The Boyle-White connection was on fire

While Madras struggled to finish tackles and stop the run on defense, the Buffs' own offense looked in sync for much of the game. Last week, Dru Boyle showed off his wheels against Ridgeview while Cael White made a few big plays in a supporting role. This week, that dynamic shifted in the other direction.

PMG PHOTO: ANDY DIECKHOFF - Cael White had 10 catches for 130 yards against No. 1 Estacada on Thursday night, recording season-highs in both categories.White had 10 catches for 130 yards against Estacada, recording season-highs in both categories. The wideout got open in a variety of ways, beating opponents down the sidelines and finding space in the middle of the field. Boyle's three-yard touchdown run in the third quarter was set up by a long Cael White reception. White also had two catches on the drive that produced Boyle's first score.

The junior has increased his receiving yardage in every game so far, and if White keeps on this pace, he should be in line for all-league honors.

"He'd start at the 6A level," said Taylor of his star wide receiver. "He would start at any team I coached at the 6A level."

A big reason for his success is because of the person throwing him the ball. This is not the first rodeo for Cael White and Dru Boyle — far from it.

"Those guys have been playing together since they were little dudes," said Taylor. "A lot of these guys have. This is where you're seeing a lot of our youth program."

After years of having those teams travel to Bend, Taylor and others in the Madras community helped establish a central Oregonian youth football program. However, the coach noted, the program hasn't been able to run the past couple years due to the hardships of the pandemic.

Madras is still aiming for the playoffs

While the loss drops the White Buffalos' record to 2-3, the team is 1-1 in Tri-Valley play after receiving a forfeit victory last week when Molalla could not play. With three more games before the end of the season, the Buffs still control their own fate. It won't be easy, though.

PMG PHOTO: ANDY DIECKHOFF - Madras head coach Kurt Taylor believes his team can make the playoffs, but noted, 'it's in the boys' hands.'"North Marion, Crook County, Gladstone," Taylor began. "Formidable teams across the board. We've got to play our 'A' game and go. "Take care of business, let the cards fall where they fall and see what happens," he said. "I think we could be that second or third team in (the playoffs)."

While the Huskies are 0-5 and the Gladiators just 2-4, both of the games against North Marion and Gladstone are on the road.

"We still need to take care of business," said Taylor. "We're away at North Marion (next week). That will be our longest travel game of the season because we haven't gone anywhere. So that will be some adversity."

The Buffs' first away game with Sisters was relocated to Madras due to air quality issues. Scheduled trips to Klamath Falls and Molalla were canceled due to COVID-19 protocols. As it stands, the team has only traveled as far as Redmond for competition. They played in the Ridgeview jamboree in August before making the short trip for a non-league game against the Ravens last week.

Taylor is also looking forward to the team's one remaining home game — against nearby rival Crook County.

"We always play Crook County tough," said Taylor. Still, the coach was quick to remind that he is still searching for his first win over the Cowboys. "I have yet to beat them in my six years here," the coach added.

All in all, says Taylor, it is up to the players just how far the team goes.

"But it's in those boys' hands. At some point, they have to take ownership of it."

Estacada 42, Madras 14

at Madras High School

E — 14 22 0 6 — 42

M — 0 6 8 0 — 14

E — Jake Behrman 36-yard run (Cory James run)

E — James 19-yard pass to Caleb McDonald

M — Dru Boyle 11-yard run

E — Behrman 6-yard run (James run)

E — Hunter McDonald 3-yard run (Behrman run)

E — Behrman 7-yard run

M — Boyle 3-yard run (Boyle pass to Reece White)

E — James 4-yard run

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