MHS defense stops Huskies
Buffs win first TVC game on gridiron
The Madras football team started the Tri-Valley Conference season off right with a 46-18 beating of North Marion on Friday in Aurora.
White Buffalo head coach Rick Wells said it was the best game his team has played all year defensively, even though they were always on the field since the offense kept scoring.
"We had more depth everywhere and we could rotate guys in to keep people fresh," Wells said. "We could rely on our substitutes because they are all good football players. We played fantastic defense, especially in the first half."
The ironclad Madras defense didn't allow any points in the first half and gave up just one big scoring play in the fourth quarter when the game was well in hand.
Wells said junior outside linebacker Jaren Wallulatum had a standout game on defense, recording 15 tackles (seven solo, eight assisted) and a pair of sacks - all while playing with a heavy heart.
"He was mourning a friend who had died during the week, so he was pretty emotional," Wells said. "He played his butt off."
Madras wide receiver Jack Fine had another huge game with four catches for 124 yards, 85 coming on a second-quarter touchdown catch from quarterback Steele Haugen.
While the Buffs welcomed back senior tailback Joe Hisatake and his 70 rushing yards on 17 carries, Devin Ceciliani needed just three fly-sweep plays to rack up 103 yards rushing and two touchdowns.
Ceciliani scored the game's first touchdown with a 79-yard scamper, then scored from 26 yards in the second quarter.
Hisatake scored on runs of four and six yards. He had missed the Sisters and Crook County games with a knee injury, so Wells was happy to have him return.
"He adds a lot of balance to our offense," Wells said.
Wide receiver Aaron Phillips added a 66-yard touchdown grab for his only catch of the game and Ceciliani finished with five catches for 43 yards and a touchdown.
Haugen finished with a "very efficient" night, Wells said, with 12 completions on 16 attempts for 240 yards and three touchdowns.
Earning the first league win is crucial in a couple ways, Wells said.
For one, it "gets the monkey off our back" since they have lost three straight games.
Secondly, league wins equal a playoff spot.
"We're here to make the playoffs, not just win a few games," Wells said. "We wanted to make a statement, and I think we established ourselves."
Madras is on the road this week against Molalla. They lost to Estacada, 6-0, Friday.