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Madras gridders thump Molalla

Buffs' defense comes through again
Even though Molalla ran an offense Madras hadn't prepared for, it didn't bother the Buffs.
   Madras plowed through Molalla, 33-6, in a Tri-Valley Conference football game Friday in Molalla behind stellar defense for the second-straight week.
   Madras head coach Rick Wells said while the Indians are usually a pass-heavy, spread formation team that he described as "more aggressive than us," they came out in an I-formation - something they didn't show on film.
   "They were pretty beat up," Wells said. "I think they wanted to control the ball more and keep our offense off the field. They're a very well-coached team but we made quick adjustments and played some good football."
   The Buffs were able to force four fumbles and senior Jack Fine notched an interception to help lead what nearly amounted to a shutout. Molalla scored real late in the game when the game was virtually decided.
   "We had the right mentality; we went straight to work," Wells said. "We didn't do anything really spectacular, just played solid football. We wanted to force turnovers and we were able to do that."
   Cody Shepherd and Devin Ceciliani led the Buffs with 6.5 tackles. Shepherd flew around the field it seemed with nine assisted tackles while Ceciliani was able to make stops in the open field with four solo tackles.
   Offensively, the return of senior running back Joe Hisatake has paid off huge for the Buffs. Hisatake had a "workman-like" night, as Wells put it, with 130 yards on 25 carries. He scored the game's first touchdown with a 3-yard plunge in the first quarter.
   "A lot of those carries, Joe got stuffed, but he was able to maintain patience and pick his spots to run," Wells said. "I was very proud of that."
   Ceciliani, however, had another night that most people would dream of. He scored four times, three by way of receiving, and racked up yards at a pace even an accountant would have trouble with the figures.
   Half of his six catches went for touchdowns and he ended with 114 yards receiving. He added 10 carries for 49 yards and a score.
   Fine caught seven passes for 79 yards.
   Madras quarterback Steele Haugen had another solid night, completing 17 of 30 pass attempts for 190 yards and a trio of touchdowns, all to Ceciliani, and no interceptions.
   Haugen hit Ceciliani with scores of 35, 20 and 19 yards.
   Wells said his offense is performing so well because of the players owning it, meaning they make suggestions to Wells about what they should do during both practices and the games.
   "I give them advice, but a lot of the time they are making decisions on their own about what to do," Wells said. "I think they learn more that way, and it's more fun for them."
   With the win, the Buffs are 2-0 in TVC play. With teacher inservice scheduled for Friday, the game against defending state champion La Salle Prep of Milwaukie will be at 7 p.m. Thursday at Madras High School.