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Estacada finishes fourth in Tri-Valley League play after 28-7 loss

Knowing they might need to beat Madras for an automatic bid into the playoffs, the Estacada Rangers knew they had a tough job ahead of them as they traveled Friday, Oct. 26, to face the White Buffaloes.

Turn out they were right: Madras defeated Estacada 28-7.

Madras got off to a quick start, scoring 14 points on their first two possessions thanks to a long passing play over the top of the Estacada defense and a long cut-back run.

From there, the Rangers defense was able to buckle down and contain Madras deep into the fourth quarter, but the Ranger offense continued to sputter.

While moving the ball has been the issue in past weeks, that wasn’t the case this time around, as Estacada actually out-gained Madras in the game.

This week, the killer was penalties.

“We had quite a few penalties that would stop our drives and prevent us from getting into the end zone,” Baker said.

The Rangers eventually did get on the board, cutting the lead to 14-7, where the score stayed until late in the fourth quarter.

Unfortunately, the Rangers offense just couldn’t get a score when they needed it, as Madras added two late scores to cement the victory.

“It was kind of a disappointing loss for us,” Baker said. “We also lost Jacob Lensch, our tight end and defensive end, in the first quarter with a hip injury and he was tough to replace.”

In order to replace Lensch, Baker replaced his two tight ends with two more offensive linemen, shifting kids into positions they had never played before. Despite the move, Baker was pleased with their performance.

“Aside from a couple touchdowns, we played awesome,” he said. “We played a good enough game to win, we just made crucial mistakes at crucial times, and that cost us. They had two or three kids faster than our fastest kid and they did a good job of getting them the ball. The one thing we seem to be lacking is overall team speed.”

One bright spot for Estacada was Brandon Beck and the Ranger running game. Beck provided a powerful bit of running for the Rangers, which helped keep the offense on track throughout the game.

In the passing game, Estacada continued to be inconsistent, never seeming to put a perfect play together.

“We’re trying to be as balanced as possible, but sometimes we’ll have great pass protection and a kid will drop the pass, or sometimes we’ll have a breakdown in protection and so we can’t hit a kid who’s wide open,” he said. “Ultimately, Madras played a great game, had a good scheme and was able to execute it.”

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