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Prep football: Saugus’s mistakes mount

Centurions struggle to hold onto the ball; lose second straight

Posted: September 8, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: September 8, 2012 1:55 a.m.
 

VENTURA — As the season goes on, every mistake is going to hurt that much more.

For the third straight week, Saugus struggled to hang on to the football and couldn’t capitalize on its own breaks.

This time, it really hurt as Buena raced in front early and forced three turnovers on defense to win 33-13 on Friday night at Buena High Stadium.

“It’s disappointing,” said Saugus head coach Jason Bornn of the mistakes. “We work on it repeatedly, over and over, so when you see stuff like what happened tonight happen and it’s stuff that we work on, it’s frustrating, and I know the kids are frustrated too.”

A Saugus defense still playing without returning Foothill League Lineman of the Year Denley Rodriguez managed to stifle the run game early and pressured Bulldogs quarterback David Corral early, but the team couldn’t take advantage of favorable field position.

Rodriguez sat out his third straight game with a high ankle sprain suffered in preseason.

But the Centurions (1-2) had bigger problems to attend to.

Even when Saugus did move the ball, it didn’t translate on the scoreboard. The offense strung together five first downs during an 18-play, 70-yard drive in the second quarter, but it was halted on a fourth-down incomplete pass at the Buena 10-yard line.

That drive ate up most of the second quarter, and up until that point, the Centurion offense hadn’t moved the chains once for a first down.

The Centurions finally got on the board following a Miguel Sanchez interception deep in Buena territory.
Saugus quarterback Chris Hamilton punched it in from a yard out on the next play, making it 12-6 at that point midway through the third quarter.

It was one of 15 carries for Hamilton for 31 yards, and the sophomore had even more trouble through the air. He finished 9-for-28 with 135 yards and also fumbled the ball one yard from the end zone late in the fourth quarter.

A few minutes later, early in the fourth, Corral found Dylan Colman for a 63-yard touchdown pass to give the Bulldogs (1-2) a 26-6 lead.

It all but put the game away.

“The only way to go is up. We gave up 33 points to a team that hadn’t scored but one touchdown in two weeks,” Bornn said.

Corral went 13-of-23 for 213 yards, three touchdowns and the one interception.

Buena tailback Ben Salazar provided some balance with a hard-working 105 yards and two scores on the ground in 30 carries.

Saugus didn’t do itself any favors early either.

In the second quarter, the Centurions’ first turnover came when Krishan Pierce muffed a punt return at his own 12-yard line.

The Bulldogs took over at the 27 after a 15-yard personal foul penalty.

Six handoffs to Salazar later, he was in for a 1-yard scoring plunge.

Buena was up 12-0 with 9:36 to play in the second after a failed two-point play.

That was the score at halftime, and although they had their chances, the Centurions couldn’t recover.

“The biggest challenge for us right now is fixing the things that are within our control, and there’s a lot that’s within our control,” Bornn said.

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