Saugus football stops Ventura late

Saugus High's Daniel Gilmartin photo - scv sports
Saugus High's Daniel Gilmartin (17) breaks through a tackle attempt by Ventura's Ian McKenzie (15) at College of the Canyons on Friday. Signal photo by Dan Watson
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Saugus High remained perfect Friday night with a 17-14 win against Ventura High at College of the Canyons.

The Centurions (4-0) were led by stifling defense before giving up two late touchdowns to the Cougars (3-1).

Saugus quarterback Nathan Eldridge, who threw for two touchdowns on 17-of-28 passing for 119 yards, completed his first attempt to Gary Bojorquez for 26 yards. The Cents opened the scoring a few plays later with a 31-yard field goal by Logan Miler.

Ventura’s next drive ended quickly when Tahjeem Johnson-Rahmaan intercepted quarterback Jack Gutierrez and returned the ball to Ventura’s 25-yard line. Saugus was unable to capitalize and came up short on fourth down.

The game was a defensive struggle until midway through the second quarter when Eldridge got hot. He rushed for 28 yards and threw for 39, completing all four attempts on a drive which ended with a 15-yard passing touchdown to Jared Pane.

The teams went into halftime with the score 10-0. Saugus gave up zero yards passing with two sacks and a pick in the first half.

The third quarter started slowly, but Saugus ended the period with a strong drive. Eldridge found his favorite target, Daniel Gilmartin, in the end zone from 2 yards out on the first play of the fourth quarter.

Gilmartin finished the game with seven catches for 40 yards.

Ventura mounted a late comeback behind Broc Mortenson, who led all rushers with 102 yards on 24 carries.

The Cougars scored with 6:17 to play when Gutierrez scrambled into the end zone on a 5-yard run.

Saugus went three and out, and Ventura took the ball from its 5-yard line all the way with Gutierrez hitting Rico Stubbs on an 11-yard touchdown pass.

The drives, mostly rushing plays, took too long and Saugus iced the game by recovering an onside kick.

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