Madras football staying the course
A peculiar thing has happened on a couple occasions this season.when the Madras football team has hit the road.
Head coach Kurt Taylor said he and his fellow coaches have noticed it, and players have openly talked about it; the White Buffalos have had trouble calming their nerves at the beginning of away games.
"Our boys just didn't show up in that first quarter and a half," Taylor said. "I guess they were star-gazed ... I don't know if it was because of Gladstone, or it was an away game, but they just weren't their normal selves in pregame and all that kind of stuff."
Taylor estimated Gladstone's first scoring drive took around two minutes, which ended in a 2-yard touchdown run. Two scores later, the Gladiators held a 20-0 lead in the second quarter.
But aside from the first few Gladstone scoring drives, Madras largely kept pace.
Treyvon Easterling found the end zone on a run from eight yards out in the second quarter, and again in the third quarter on a 10-yard run.
The latter touchdown brought the game back to within two scores, 27-12, but Gladstone scored again to put the game out of reach, 34-12.
"The score doesn't really show it, but we were really in the game," Taylor said.
"We just couldn't tackle; our boys were just sliding off of them left and right. What cost us the game is the fact that we couldn't tackle. Period."
One of the White Buffalos' most encouraging outcomes, however, was winning the turnover battle. The Buffs forced five Gladstone fumbles, and came up with three of them, while committing two turnovers of their own.
They also cleaned up the penalties, as they were whistled for only five throughout the game.
And although Easterling still received the lion's share of 27 carries, the Buffs' passing game had its moments as Liam White spread the ball around to four different receivers.
Brandon Desjardins led the team in receiving with 61 yards on three catches, while Robert Pacheco caught three balls for 41 yards and Coty Simmons added two receptions for 33 yards.
Desjardins, a senior, was sidelined for the first few games of the season with an injury, and was cleared to practice just two weeks ago, Taylor said.
"He makes us better," Taylor said. "He's one of our fastest players and he's got sure hands."
The Buffs' next opponent, Corbett (2-3), is an independent 4A team that has played most of its schedule against smaller schools. As such, it is hard for Madras coaches to gauge where Corbett is. But they remain optimistic about playing their final home game.
"These boys gotta come out and do what we've been asking them to do all year," Taylor said. "But if we play our game and tackle like they tackle normally, we've got a good chance."
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