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Prep football: Saugus sees similar opponent

Centurions look to bounce back after last week’s loss to Muir

Posted: September 16, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: September 16, 2011 1:55 a.m.

Saugus quarterback Jared Carbajal (15) hands off to Quentin Hendrix on Sept. 1 at Canyon High during the Centurions’ 31-20 victory over Burroughs High.

In its first game, Saugus tallied 335 yards of rushing alone against Burroughs of Burbank.

A week later, it managed just 136 yards of total offense.

The Centurions will have to avoid the latter in a matchup with Buena High of Ventura today at 7:30 p.m. at College of the Canyons.

Though on paper, Saugus (1-1) looked like two completely different teams from one week to the next, head coach Jason Bornn said it was all the opponent.

“There’s not a whole lot you can do when their X’s are faster than your O’s,” Bornn said of last Friday’s 27-9 loss to Muir High of Pasadena.

In that game, the Centurions ran the ball with five different players and none of them could consistently gain positive yardage against Muir’s athletic defense.

The good news is Buena (0-2) doesn’t appear to have the same kind of speed, Bornn said, though they present different challenges.

The Bulldogs rely on defense and controlling the clock by running the ball.

Returning senior Kendrick Mathis is the centerpiece of Buena’s ground attack, accounting for 201 of the team’s 293 total rushing yards thus far.

He played both running back and quarterback last season and it appears he’ll get the start at quarterback this week.

As the signal caller last week against Camarillo, he was effective in both roles, throwing for 79 yards and a touchdown while running for 167 yards on 24 carries.

He was the same quarterback who helped Buena beat Saugus 24-13 last year when the two teams met.

“Quite honestly, it’s pretty much a mirror image of ourselves,” Bornn said of Buena. “They are very good and they’re very disciplined in what they do.”

Both teams feature their quarterbacks as major pieces of the running game.

Saugus quarterback Jared Carbajal leads the team with 177 yards on the ground despite finishing with -11 last week.

After Carbajal, senior Colton Jackson has been the most effective running back, totalling 120 yards and averaging 7.1 yards per carry.

Bornn said he plans to stay consistent with the offensive game plan that will include a handful of different players rotating into the backfield.

“We have 100 percent faith in our system, in our players, in our scheme and trying to do what we need to do,” Bornn said. “It’s just a matter of executing fundamentally.”

In other words, which team can grind it out better and stand up on defense.

The Bulldogs have two returning seniors in linebacker Doug Haywood and defensive lineman Sean Cobos leading an effective and experienced front seven.

In last year’s meeting, however, it was the Bulldogs’ offense that caught the Centurions off guard.

“They’re very physical, very well coached and they did some things that we were not prepared for defensively,” Bornn said, “and they were able to hurt us a little bit.”

Whether it was last year or last week, Saugus is ready for a different result.


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