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Madras goalkeeper blocks a penalty kick with about 20 seconds left in game, preserving the White Buffs' 2-1 win over Crook County

TONY AHERN  - Gustavo Reynoso, 19, prepares to blast a kick during the Madras White Buffalos' 2-1 win over Crook County Oct. 25 in Madras. Goalkeeper Javier Castro's block on a penalty kick inside the final 20 seconds of the match keyed a 2-1 Madras boys soccer victory over Crook County Oct. 25.

With the Tri-Valley Conference champion Buffs clinging to that one-goal lead, Crook County's Jaycob Miller's penalty kick was a rifle shot to the left side of the net. Castro, a junior, played it perfectly, diving to his right and blocking the shot with his arms.

Seconds later, the game ended with the Buffs celebrating, chanting their teammate Castro's name.

The win ended the Buffs' regular season at 10-2, 8-2 in league. Crook County, which won its first game of the year against Estacada Oct. 20, finished 1-11-1, but with the knowledge they were playing their best soccer late in the season.

The game started out like it might be a blowout. Soon after the opening whistle, the Buffs had a corner kick. A Buffalo header was knocked toward the goal but kept out, but then the Buffs' Gustavo Reynoso kicked in the loose ball less than two minutes into the game.

Steve Gonzalez scored about 20 minutes later for the Buffs, on an assist by Gustavo Santellano. Crook County made it a one-goal game later in the half.

Crook County played hard on the chilly night, hoping for an upset over the fourth-ranked Buffalos to make their season. Madras made several good defensive plays near the goal to keep the Cowboys at bay.

The Cowboys had a great shot on goal at the 12:58 mark of the season half, trying to tie the game at 2-all. However, Castro made a nice diving block.

Two minutes later there was a hard foul on the Buffs' Eben Tapia at midfield. Play was stopped. Castro left the goal box and charged up scene of the foul. He eventually drew a yellow card for dissent.

He was pulled from the game for a moment but was back in a minute later.

Neither team was able to score another goal and it looked like the time would run out with the Madras defense keeping the Cowboys down. However, the call in the waning moments set up the dramatic penalty kick and Castro's heroics.

Castro began the season as the team's No. 2 goalkeeper, said Jones, as he started the season a bit late, having to juggle work and school responsibilities. He has four shutouts and two games where he allowed just one goal. Only once this year did Madras allow more than two goals in a game, a 5-3 loss to Estacada Sept. 20.

Madras will enter the state playoffs as the fourth-highest seed, guaranteeing themselves home playoff game, if they remain in the tournament, until the semi-finals.

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