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Saugus refuses gifts

Taft commits 17 penalties and three turnovers, but Saugus can’t capitalize in 14-3 loss

Posted: October 2, 2009 11:51 p.m.
Updated: October 3, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Saugus quarterback Zack Gauthier (7) runs between Taft defenders during the Centurions' 14-3 loss to Taft at Cougar Stadium on Friday.

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Saugus should get a gift receipt for this one.

Taft of Woodland Hills was a giving mood Friday night at Cougar Stadium, committing 17 penalties for 132 yards.

Yet Saugus did very little with the extra opportunities and lost its third straight game, this one a 14-3 setback.

Now the Centurions (1-3) are searching for answers.

Saugus head coach Jason Bornn said he didn't have many after the game.

"I don't know. They made some mistakes, gave us opportunities, turned the ball over," Bornn said. "When you get those turnovers, you have to convert them."

Taft lost three turnovers in the game and was flagged throughout the night, and at the end of the game had a player ejected for fighting.

On one drive, Taft (2-2) committed five penalties, two of which negated 51 yards gained, and threw an interception.

Toreadors head coach Matt Kerstetter was blunt.

"It was disgusting," Kerstetter said. "I told my kids it was the ugliest win in my nine years at Taft. But we persevered."

Saugus could not get anything going on offense.

The Centurions managed just 144 yards of offense in the game.

Their only score came as time expired in the first half, when Manny Padron kicked a 28-yard field goal to cut Taft's lead going into halftime to 7-3.

A 40-yard connection from Saugus quarterback Zack Gauthier to Padron early in the drive set up the score.

But the Centurions stalled inside the 20-yard line.

"In this game, we fought, but it's the little details we need to take care of," Padron said.

The little details were too many to name.

Saugus' passing game sputtered. Its running game never got going. On third downs, Gauthier didn't have much time.

Defensively, Saugus was strong, yet Padron said his team failed to pressure Taft quarterback Antuan Goodall.

But the Centurions were able to slow down USC-commit D.J. Morgan after the Toreadors' first drive.

However, on Taft's first drive, Morgan was a force.

Morgan ran for 71 yards on four carries, scoring the game's first touchdown at the 8:15 mark of the first quarter on a 31-yard jaunt off a delay draw.

He finished the night with 22 carries for 136 yards, scoring from 1-yard out with 2:17 to play, giving Taft a 14-3 lead.

The Centurions' final drive amounted to two incomplete passes and -7 yards.

It doesn't get easier as Saugus plays a highly respected Crespi team next Friday.

But who knows if this is the real Saugus team.

"Our best running back has yet to play a game," said Bornn, referring to sophomore Tyler Watt, who has missed the first four games with a lower-leg injury. "I like our chances if we have the kind of player that can grind out yards for us."

In his absence, Gauthier was the team's leading rusher with 46 yards on 12 carries.


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