Big 'D' turns the tide at Madras
Gladstone forces six turnovers in a 42-18 victory
MADRAS - Defense was the key, as Gladstone's football team got the best of Madras 42-18 Friday.
The White Buffaloes out-gained the Gladiators 264- to 235 yards in total offense.
But the Gladiators toughened up on defense when it counted, forcing six turnovers.
Gladstone defenders kept Madras' offense out of the end zone until the fourth quarter, and by that time the Gladiators owned a 42-6 lead.
Senior linebackers Tanner Watts and A.J. Prom and junior linebacker Oscar Sanchez headed up the Gladiator defensive onslaught.
Watts intercepted a pass in the second quarter and returned it 23 yards to the end zone to put his side up 28-0 at the halftime break.
Prom picked off two passes, returning one of them 44 yards to the end zone in the third period.
Sanchez intercepted a pass, and the 5-10, 185-pound junior played a part in a team-leading 12 tackles, with one quarterback sack.
Defensive back Dalton Moe also picked off a wayward aerial; and senior linebacker Nick Hernandez pounced on a Madras fumble.
Madras' only score of the first three quarters was a 73-yard fumble recovery return in the second quarter.
'Defensively we did a really good job,' said Gladstone coach Jon Wolf. 'Our defense played fast and physical and stopped their running game. We forced them to throw the ball and that's why we had so many interceptions.'
Gladstone had six different players score touchdowns.
Offensive scores were on short runs by Eamon Burrell and Hernandez in the first quarter, a 25-yard pass from Burrell to Jesse Williams in the second period, and a short run by Joe Yeaman in the third stanza.
Moe (5 carries, 39 yards) and Prom (12 carries, 37 yards) led a balanced Gladstone ground attack that netted 158 yards. Burrell found his receivers on seven of 15 attempted passes for 77 yards.
Madras quarterback Andrew McConnell completed 15-of-37 passes for 211 yards.
The White Buffaloes struggled all game to get anything going on the ground. They netted only 53 yards on 25 rushing plays.
Gladstone (5-1, 2-0), La Salle (6-0, 2-0) and Molalla (4-2, 2-0) finished last week as the Tri-Valley Conference leaders.
La Salle last Friday won big at North Marion, 37-12, while Molalla blanked Estacada 40-0.
This week's conference games are scheduled for Thursday. Gladstone hosts North Marion (1-5, 0-2); La Salle entertains Molalla; and Madras (2-3, 0-2) and Estacada (0-6, 0-2) meet at Estacada.