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Prep football: Young QBs on display

Saugus, Canyon clash at Cowboys' passing tournament

Posted: July 6, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: July 6, 2012 1:55 a.m.

Kevin Lee, 16, of Saugus High, catches a touchdown pass in the end zone against Sylmar defender Daniel Mendoza at Canyon High Thursday.

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It was one first-year varsity quarterback leading a young team against the other.

This round went to Canyon.

The good news for Saugus is it’s only July, and this is only 7-on-7 football.

Canyon beat Saugus 20-14 in a matchup of two Foothill League teams that capped off a passing camp at Canyon High School on Thursday night.

“I like the enthusiasm and stuff like that,” said Canyon head coach Rich Gutierrez, whose team was competing in just its second passing camp of the summer. “For a second week, I’m happy.”

The four-team camp also included Alemany and Sylmar. Canyon easily topped Sylmar earlier in the day, while falling 18-14 to Alemany, the only 3-0 team on the day.

Both teams scored two touchdowns in the game, but Alemany scored the deciding four points by intercepting Cowboys quarterback Cade Apsay twice.

It was otherwise a productive day for the junior quarterback, who completed a pair of touchdown passes to wide receiver Brenden Stach and was routinely finding Liam Cabrera open down field.

Cabrera’s twin brother Israel was playing defensive back for Canyon.

“It’s a learning experience,” Apsay said. “That’s what I take out of these (passing camps). There’s always room for improvement.”

Senior wide receiver and reigning league offensive player of the year Drew Wolitarsky was held out of action as he is still nursing a hamstring injury from track and field season.

The young quarterback on the other side, Saugus sophomore Chris Hamilton, had his highlights as well.

After the Cowboys used three touchdowns and an interception to run out to a 20-0 lead, the Centurions marched back.

Hamilton was completing passes to wideouts often on short crossing routes and quick passes toward the sideline.

“It’s a great opportunity for them to see different coverages, different looks,” said Saugus head coach Jason Bornn of the young quarterbacks. “It’s an opportunity for them to work on timing and accuracy.”

His favorite targets included Kevin Lee and tight end Austin Portillo, who grabbed a touchdown on fourth-and-goal late in the game.

A Saugus interception shortly after that made it a one-score game, but the Centurions couldn’t deliver on their final possession, and it finished off an 0-3 day for them.

Bornn said he wasn’t concerned with the final tallies, and instead focused on strong individual performances.

Defensively, Saugus got strong performances by safety Dakota Taylor and the entire linebacking corps, which was stout in underneath coverage.

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