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Saugus tries to end skid

Posted: October 1, 2009 9:41 p.m.
Updated: October 2, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Saugus head football coach Jason Bornn threw out an analogy this week about his team.

It went something like this: If a car salesman worked his butt off to get a monthly bonus and at the end of the month that bonus didn’t come through, then the salesman should be satisfied with the effort put in, but still frustrated that the bonus didn’t come through.

The Centurions are the car salesman, and for the last two weeks, Saugus is without a bonus.

Yet effort is how the coach is measuring his team in the preleague season.

The Centurions host Taft tonight at Cougar Stadium at 7:30 p.m.

Saugus has lost two straight games in lopsided fashion against strong opponents.

The Centurions came into the season as one of the top-ranked teams in the CIF-Southern Section Northern Division, yet the two setbacks have Bornn sticking with the line that these games are pre-league games that prepare the team for the Foothill League and playoffs.

However, he also said not receiving the bonus of winning games should leave a bad taste in his players’ mouths.

Bornn said he is re-evaluating a philosophy.

“I don’t talk about winning, but I may have to tweak the philosophy to let them know that losing’s not acceptable.”

Things don’t get much easier for the Centurions, who have the most difficult pre-league schedule of any Foothill League team.

Taft is also 1-2, but that record may be deceptive.

The Toreadors have lost to teams that are at the top or near the top of their respective divisions in Alemany and Notre Dame.

“We both played some tough opponents this year,” said Taft head coach Matt Kerstetter. “The fact that we’re both 1-2 is frustrating for both teams. You go in with high expectations looking for a great season and say, ‘What are we doing wrong?’” I don’t think we’re doing anything wrong. We’re just playing tough schools.”

It isn’t helping Saugus that the Centurions have been banged up this season.

The team’s expected running back coming into the season, sophomore Tyler Watt, is still nursing a lower-leg injury and probably won’t see the field until Foothill League play begins.

Last week, Saugus was without receivers Derrick Jacobson and James Weiner.

Bornn said it made a difference in last Friday’s 41-21 loss to Newbury Park.

Saugus is healthier this week, but the Centurions are still looking for that spark to get them going.

They also have to avoid the big play from Taft.

That big play will most likely come from senior running back D.J. Morgan, who has rushed for 480 yards and seven touchdowns and is averaging 11.4 yards per carry.

“What people don’t realize is how deceptively powerful he is,” Kerstetter said of Morgan, who is 5 foot 10 inches and 180 pounds. “Another thing is he’s such a great receiver and a good route runner. He’s quick, catches the ball very well. But it doesn’t revolve around him.”

Kerstetter said he has some big-play receivers who have not shown their capabilities yet.

Quarterback Antuan Goodall, who Bornn said may be the best running quarterback Saugus will see through its first four games, has struggled with passing. He has completed only 40 percent of his passes and has tossed four interceptions.

Taft goes with a no-huddle offense and a 3-3-5 defense, but that defense has struggled against the run in two consecutive games. giving up 244 yards to Notre Dame’s Kenneth Boggs and 147 yards to Alemany’s Malcolm Marable in last Friday’s 28-19 loss.

Yet Bornn is still concerned about the Toreadors, saying they’re bigger, stronger and faster than the Cents.

“It’s one of those games, if we show up like we did last week against Newbury Park, it’s going to be a long game,” Bornn said, noting that his team didn’t seem mentally into it.

The schedule isn’t any kinder as another ranked team, Crespi, follows next week.



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