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Prep football: Which Saugus team ...?

Centurions have played three different types of games thus far

Posted: September 23, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: September 23, 2011 1:55 a.m.

The non-league season is supposed to show teams who they are prior to league play.

With Saugus football, it’s a little bit difficult to pinpoint so far.

In three games, Saugus has had a comeback win, a lopsided loss and a hang-on-for-dear-life win.

The 2-1 Centurions will travel to face Pete Knight High of Palmdale tonight at 7:30 p.m. at Knight High School.

The upside for the roller coaster-riding Centurions is that they’ve faced all kinds of different scenarios in the still-young 2011 season.

“We’ve have three different types of ball games and I think in each one of those types of ball games, we’ve created unique types of situations we’ve had to overcome,” said Saugus head coach Jason Bornn.

The most recent situation was last Friday’s 34-32 victory where Saugus had to hold off Buena’s 16-point onslaught in the fourth quarter.

It turned the Centurions’ 18-point lead into a near disaster.

For better or worse though, Saugus has a winning record, and is playing a Knight team that’s coming off a 56-7 loss to Canyon last week.

“It could have been a case where Canyon was really clicking that night and Knight really wasn’t,” Bornn said, dismissing the notion that the Hawks would be an easy out. “You never know what you’re going to get every night.”

In two weeks, the Hawks (1-1) have managed a total of 134 yards rushing, which could be good news for the Saugus defense, which has struggled to stop fast running backs so far.

Knight head coach Corey Guilfoos intends to test that theory again and wants to go after the front seven of the Centurions.

“It’s about getting off the ball and just staying off our blocks,” Guilfoos said. “In the past we’ve been able to run the ball. We might have to try to pass. If they have seven in the box, we should be good.”

That charge will likely be led by running back Corey Finister and fullback Alonte Riley, who leads the team with 63 rushing yards.

“They run the ball extremely well, but when the holes are closing so fast, it’s been slim pickings for them lately,” Guilfoos said.

Quarterback Tony Dawson is also capable of taking off and running, Guilfoos said, but his biggest contribution has been through the air.

Dawson is 19-for-48 with 326 yards, a touchdown and an interception.

Offense and defense might not tell the entire story on Friday though, as the Centurions have allowed a special teams touchdown in each of their three games this year — two kickoff return scores and one blocked punt recovered in the end zone.

“I think it’s about better attention to detail,” Bornn said. “Special teams is something that we’ve always taken a certain amount of pride in and being that we’ve had some problems with it has forced us to go back to the drawing board.”
What has worked for Saugus so far is the running game.

More specifically, quarterback Jared Carbajal, who is the team’s top rusher by a good distance, totalling 382 yards on 58 carries and six touchdowns.

“(Carbajal’s) a heck of a player,” Guilfoos said. “He’s back this year. He’s a senior and he’s still looking just as good.”


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