Scappoose 'number one for a reason'
- Billy Gates
- Madras Pioneer - Sports
When the Madras White Buffalos take the field for warmups in the Class 4A OSAA football playoffs Friday in Scappoose, the program will have already won.
>Buffs will try to slow down best receiver in state
Of course, the game on the field will still need to be played. And while the No. 1 Indians will be Madras' toughest opponent to date, even with a loss, the program will still move forward.
It has been seven seasons since the Buffs have made it this far in the postseason, and first time ever at the Class 4A level. The last time Madras made it to the first round was in 2005, when they were in Class 3A.
"This is definitely a step in the right direction for the program," Madras head coach Rick Wells said. "We have a championship caliber team right here, and I firmly believe that."
The Buffs will have to deal with one of the most prolific offenses in the state, and one of the state's best athletes who makes plays all over the field, in the first round of the state playoffs at 7 p.m. Friday.
Scappoose's spread offense is led by senior wide receiver Paul Revis. A multidimensional athlete and a threat to score from anywhere on the field at any time, Revis has hauled in 76 catches for an eye-popping 1,396 yards and 23 touchdowns.
Revis is also a threat to run the football as well with 447 yards on 47 carries and six scores, but Wells isn't buying the idea that the Indians are just Revis, Revis and then some more Revis.
"Revis is definitely a very good football player, but so is the entire team," Wells said. "It's the playoffs, so there aren't any easy matchups. They are number one for a reason."
The supporting cast for the Indians includes junior quarterback Taylor Loss and junior running back Carson Davison, and both are very well-rounded athletes that do their job very well.
Loss has thrown for 2,211 yards and 34 touchdowns to just 10 interceptions with a 68.6 completion rate. He launched six touchdowns in a game against Central earlier in the season and has thrown four or more touchdowns in a game six times this season.
Davison is about to crack the 1,000-yard barrier for the season with 931 rushing yards on 160 carries with eight touchdowns.
While he doesn't have the crazy numbers of Revis, Davison has the talent to go for huge yards if he gets the ball. Against Central, he turned 19 carries into 162 yards and three touchdowns. He has run for more than 100 yards three times this season in the Indians' pass-heavy offense.
In a spread-style offense, which Wells said is similar to the system the Buffs run, Scappoose has play-makers all over the field and are tough to stop because they execute so well.
"They don't do anything particularily special, but they are very good at what they do," Wells said. "They can strike quickly and do a lot of things to confuse a defense."
Wells said where to start with defending the Indians' potent offense is to simply be on offense.
"We have to be able to keep their offense on the sideline," Wells said. "We have to control the ball, execute well and hang on to it."
Wells thinks if his team is able to keep it close throughout the game, and not let the Indians score a bunch early, they should be able to put themselves in a position to win the game.
"We need to know our assignments defensively. That will be critical," he said. "If we're able to score early and create a little doubt, that will definitely help, too."
The Buffs were able to do that against Crook County in the play-in round, and Wells said that was especially helpfulto his team after they took a 20-7 lead into halftime against the Cowboys.
Scappoose has been near the top of the Class 4A power ratings for the entire year, and are traditionally a strong team in the classification, so it's not a surprise they are in this position against an upstart team like Madras. If the Buffs can knock off the Indians, it will be one of the biggest upsets in recent playoff history, regardless of classification.
But if the Buffs fall, while it would be tough for the players that played their last game, they can take pride in the fact they helped rebuild a program that was, just a few years ago, in shambles.