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Keeping pace

Saugus still undefeated; stays tied with Valencia

Posted: October 31, 2008 10:43 p.m.
Updated: January 2, 2009 5:00 a.m.

Saugus running back Ryan Zirbel takes off with three Golden Valley Grizzlies in hot pursuit, including defensive end J.P. Pinjanthuk (18). The Centurions won easily, 42-7, to remain unbeaten in the Foothill League.

On Halloween night, the only thing scarier than the holiday itself was the play of the Centurions.

Saugus devastated Golden Valley Friday night on the campus of College of the Canyons, improving its league record to 3-0 by a score of 42-7.

A sparse contingent of Centurions and Grizzlies faithful, among them various ghouls, monsters and even mimes, sat speechless as Saugus poured it on early and did not let up, scoring 23 points in the first quarter alone.

"I thought we did some things in a positive way," said Saugus head coach Jason Bornn. "I felt our execution was off a little bit and a couple of our guys got dinged but all in all it's a ‘W' and another step in league."

Golden Valley (3-5, 0-3) was able to move the ball from time to time, off of running back Joseph Figueroa's 103 rushing yards and by moving Jon Schlegel from wide receiver to running back to quarterback.

The Grizzlies were also able to get to the quarterback three times for sacks.

However, the show belonged to the Centurions (5-3, 3-0).
Quarterback Desi Rodriguez and wide receiver Kollin Depew connected twice for touchdowns early, including a precise strike down the middle to the tune of 57 yards.

Rodriguez finished the night 10-of-14 for 179 yards and a touchdown before he was replaced by backup Zach Gauthier in the third quarter - 96 of his yards going to Depew.

"Offensively, I felt like we could have done more," said Depew. "Saugus' offense has way more potential than what we had in the first half, Desi getting sacked an what not. We just came out in the second half and wanted to take it to them."

On senior night, running back Ryan Zirbel put on quite a show.

Zirbel's highlight of the night came courtesy of a 53-yard sprint to pay dirt in the second quarter, finishing the night with ¬¬¬162 total yards and three scores.

"Throughout the whole game we were just doing what do; our bread and butter," said Zirbel.

The defense also got involved when Saugus senior defensive back, Joe Rojales took Golden Valley quarterback James Hughes' pass 23 yard the other direction for the score. The Centurions defense forced five turnovers including two interceptions and recovered three fumbles.

"I think our pre-league action helped us out a lot because we were playing the best teams in California and doing pretty well against them," Zirbel added. "Now that we got to league we know what we can do and we are getting stronger."

The Grizzlies were not without their opportunities and ruined Saugus' chance for a shutout when Jon Schlegel took the direct snap 61 yards for the score with 38 seconds left in the game.

After a lop-sided first half, fans were looking for a real "Thriller," maybe go into a "Time Warp," or perhaps witness a "Monster Mash," pretty much insert any cheesy Halloween reference here. Whichever way you slice it, Saugus was able to execute and move past Golden Valley with ease.

The Centurions now turn their attention to the potentially championship-deciding matchup with Valencia, the winner taking a firm grasp of the league crown.

"Right now we are going to enjoy the victory over Golden Valley and first thing in the morning we are going to wake up and start working on preparing for Valencia," Bornn said.

Shutting down the powerful offense of the Vikings will be a formidable challenge, but the Centurions remain confident in their chances.


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