>eam has chance to make a statement tonight at Madras
The Crook County High School football team is off to a great start.
   The team is 2-1 so far this season, and even in the loss they were competitive. Tonight is a pivotal game for Crook County as they face the high-powered passing attack of the Madras White Buffaloes.
   So far, the Cowboys have played against teams that like to run the ball, so it will be interesting to see how the squad handles a passing attack.
   Crook County won last year’s game 23-6, however, Madras showed the ability to move the ball.
   The Cowboys have improved each week so far. The team survived in overtime against Henley, then made too many penalties as they fell to undefeated Cascade on the road. Last Friday, the Cowboys seemed to put things together as they rolled to a 42-6 whipping of Class 5A The Dalles Wahtonka.
   Madras put up 36 points in a win at Stayton to open the season. Since then their offense has struggled as they dropped games to Redmond and Sisters.
   The game is a key contest for both teams. It is the last opportunity for Madras to get ready for their Tri Valley League Season while it is a chance for the Cowboys to run their record to 3-1.
   Because of the new play-in format winning is even more important for the Cowboys then in the past — as even if they win Special District I there is no guarantee that they will qualify for the playoffs.
   The simple solution is for the team to continue to win. Next week, the team travels to Portland to take on Class 5A Madison, who is also a beatable opponent. Then the Cowboys face possibly their toughest opponent of the year as they host the high-powered Redmond Panthers on Friday, Oct. 5. The season winds down with games against Ridgeview and Summit, which are both very winnable contests.
   Should the Cowboys take care of business they could easily enter post season play with a 6-2 record — hopefully good enough to earn either a bye, or a play-in contest.
   However, the team is currently ninth in the latest OSAA?Class 4A power rankings while Ridgeview is in fourth. There will likely be room for just one of the two Special District I teams in the playoffs, making their Oct. 12 meeting in Redmond the most important game of the season for both teams, and making every game a must win for the Cowboys.
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