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Herd of Buffs earn league honors

2012 Madras football review

by: Billy Gates/The Pioneer - Madras senior Devin Ceciliani, pictured here running back the opening kickoff against Crook County for a touchdown earlier in the season, was named to the first-team all-Tri-Valley Conference football team at three positions – wide receiver, defensive back and kick returner.

While winning percentage would suggest the Madras White Buffalos football team didn't have a winning season, numbers don't always quite tell the story of a season.
   For a program that finished the season 5-6 with a first-round playoff loss, this season was more of a success than any year prior to the last time the Buffs were in the playoffs in 2005.
   One barometer for team success is the collective success of the players, most specifically all-league selections, and the Buffs had quite a few of those.
   Madras had four selections to the Tri-Valley Conference first team, three of which were the same guy.
   The Buffs' heart and soul, senior Devin Ceciliani, earned first-team picks on offense, defense and special teams.
   Ceciliani made the offensive team as a wide receiver, finishing the year with 1,106 receiving yards on 66 catches with 14 touchdowns. His longest touchdown reception was 91 yards.
   Ceciliani's receiving yardage put him second in Class 4A behind Scappoose superstar wideout Paul Revis, well ahead of the pack with 1,531 yards.
   On defense, Ceciliani was named to the first team as a defensive back with 74.5 tackles, five interceptions and four pass knockdowns.
   When teams kicked the ball to him, he was just as electric. He racked up 314 returns yards and a pair of touchdowns.
   In all, Ceciliani scored 23 touchdowns in 11 games for the Buffs, which included an 80-yard fumble return for a score in the play-in win against Crook County.
   Cecilaini and La Salle Prep's Collin Meisner were the only players to receive first-team selections in all three phases of the game.
   Senior linebacker Aaron Phillips was the other Buff to earn first-team honors.
   His team-leading 90 tackles and four forced fumbles earned him a spot on the top team at linebacker. He was also tied for second on the team with six tackles for loss.
   The Buffs put a herd of players on second-team all-conference with six picks, led by defensive line dynamo Anthony Allbritton and quarterback Steele Haugen.
   Allbritton, a senior, put up linebacker-like numbers along the line with 72.5 tackles and five sacks. He had six tackles for loss and also blocked a kick.
   Haugen called the shots from behind center and racked up 2,365 yards through the air, completing 164 of 279 pass attempts for 20 touchdowns.
   Other second-team choices for the Buffs include the team's leading rusher, senior Joe Hisatake. He missed three games due to a knee injury suffered in the second week of the season, but Hisatake was a critical part of the Buffs' run to the playoffs. Hisatake packed the pigskin 168 times for 701 yards and 10 touchdowns, while playing just eight games.
   He was named to the team as a running back.
   Rounding out second-team offensive choices were senior wideout Jack Fine and senior offensive lineman Merlin Tom.
   Fine ended the season with 60 catches for 828 yards as the ultimate possession receiver for the Buffs. He scored three touchdowns as well, but his main value was to move the chains and give the offense a fresh set of downs.
   While Tom was the anchor of the Buffs' offensive line, he also had five sacks at defensive tackle, but was named to the second team as an offensive tackle.
   Senior Nick Picard was named to the second-team defense. He recorded 35.5 tackles, two sacks and a team-leading eight tackles for loss.
   On the honorable mention team, seniors Picard and Kody Turner, along with sophomore Cody Shepherd, were all named.
   Turner and Picard were tabbed on the offensive line and Shepherd was a defensive back pick. Junior Jaren Wallulatum also received recognition as a linebacker.
   Shepherd had 49 tackles, three sacks, two tackles for loss and a forced fumble.
   Wallulatum recorded 35 tackles and 2.5 sacks for the Buffs this season.
   La Salle Prep's Meisner was named the offensive player of the year while Gladstone linebacker Oscar Sanchez was named the league's defensive player of the year.
   La Salle Prep's Sam Eichhorn was named the lineman of the year and his coach, Tim Bowman, was the coach of the year.