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Saugus takes Route 66

Centurions turn on the scoring machine with big win over Wildcats

Posted: October 24, 2008 10:30 p.m.
Updated: December 26, 2008 5:00 a.m.

Saugus quarterback Desi Rodriguez, left, chest bumps teammate Justion Wells after Rodriguez the first TD in a 66-24 rout over West Ranch.

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When West Ranch took a 14-8 lead over Saugus on Friday at Dr. Paul A. Priesz Stadium at Valencia High School, many thought an upset was in the making.

It did not From that point on, the game belonged to the Centurions.

Saugus scored seven rushing touchdowns and ran for 346 yards, in a 66-24 demolishing of the Wildcats in Foothill League play.

"It was a matter of us executing our offense and doing what we do," Centurions head coach Jason Bornn said. "I thought they did a very good job of doing that. I thought our performance was very good."

West Ranch took its final lead of the ballgame with 3:13 left in the first quarter, on a 50-yard end around run by Zak Snell.

Saugus quarterback Desi Rodriguez answered with a 53-yard rumble to the Wildcat 24-yard line, which set up his 3-yard touchdown pass to Kollin DePew. A two-point conversion pass by backup QB Zach Gauthier to DePew made it a 16-14 lead the Centurions never relinquished.

That sparked a 58-10 run by Saugus, who improved to 2-0 in league (4-3 overall) to tie Valencia on top of the standings. West Ranch is 1-1 in league (2-5 overall).

"We're excited about how we are playing and our focus is on Golden Valley for seven days," Bornn said.

Rodriguez opened the first drive of the second quarter with a 42-yard run to go ahead 23-14, then West Ranch kicked a 32-yard field goal to make it 23-17 Saugus.

Rodriguez ran for four touchdowns and passed for two more. He rushed for 157 yards on 13 carries, and went 8-for-9 with 147 yards.

The game did not get any closer. Rodriguez found paydirt again, on a 19-yard run with 3:58 left in the first half. With 39 seconds left before the half, the Saugus playmaker found Ryan Zirbel on a 19-yard score on a play-action pass to give the Centurions a 38-17 lead to cap off a 30-3 run.

West Ranch gave itself a glimmer of hope, but it quickly faded away. Ryan Gee recovered a fumble on the Wildcat 20. That set up an eight-play drive that ended with Trent Yofkovich's nine-yard touchdown and a 38-24 Saugus margin that was tough to catch up to but doable.

Yofkovich churned out 177 yards on 18 carries as the Wildcats ran for 263 yards on 27 carries.

West Ranch quarterback Jake Bernards went 7-for-12 for 75 yards. He averaged close to 300 yards in his previous six games.

Saugus put the game away, scoring four straight touchdowns. Zirbel recovered a fumble and Rodriguez intercepted a pass in that span.

Rodriguez scored on a 7-yard run, Zirbel tacked on a 68-yard sprint for another touchdown for the longest play of the game. Sophomore backup running back Adrian Cruz, one strong candidate to take over for Zirbel on next season's Saugus team, scored on a 3-yard power run.

Zirbel ran the ball 15 times for 210 yards and had two receptions for 35 yards. Cruz ran for 60 yards.

At 7 p.m. on Friday, West Ranch plays against Canyon at Harry Welch Stadium at CHS.

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