Which Buffs will show up to play Bears?

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By DAN GOLDMAN

56-17. 38-20. 34-13.

Nothing too surprising about those Amador High School football scores, except for one minor detail they were all losses.

For the first time in Steve Goggans' five-year tenure as the Thundering Herd's head coach, Amador not only finished its preseason with a losing record (2-3), but suffered a three-game losing streak.

To be fair, the teams Amador lost to in Weeks 3, 4 and 5 Oakmont of Roseville (56-17), Ripon (30-28) and Escalon (34-13) have a combined on-the-field record of 17-1.

OK, so the Ripon game did turn into a win (just as it did for Summerville) after the Indians forfeited their first four games because they used an ineligible player.

And don't forget that against the Indians, Amador did have a halftime lead before letting the game slip away, while against Oakmont, the Vikings recovered five onside kicks to help run up the score.

All mitigating factors, and all reasons to believe nothing is too drastically wrong with the Buffs (4-2) until you take last week's late win over Bret Harte into consideration.

Hosting a one-win team in their Mother Lode League opener, the Buffs barely managed to prevail, only pulling out the 21-17 win when Zack Rutherford scored the game-winning touchdown on a 36-yard, fourth-down run with 1:17 remaining.

So what is going on with a program that has made three straight appearance in the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs, won one MLL title (2001) and entered this season as a shoo-in to make some noise in the Division IV postseason?

"We played some real tough competition there, and we kind of lost our confidence as a team," Goggans said. "I'm hoping the win (over Bret Harte) will turn us around. We've had a great week of practice, and I think the kids are believing in themselves a little more."

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