GLENDALE — Saugus came up with big plays on both sides of the ball and held off a late charge by Crescenta Valley to win its CIF-SS Division 6 first-round playoff game 38-29 at Glendale High School on Friday.
Saugus, due to a coin flip, will play on the road in the second round against Long Beach Wilson.
Friday, Nathan Eldridge went 9-of-19 for 121 yards, two touchdowns and an interception for Saugus. Quinn Sheaffer ran for 123 yards on 12 carries.
The game got off to a sloppy start. Eldridge threw an interception on the opening drive, and Crescenta Valley (9-2) fumbled its first possession inside Saugus’ 10-yard line.
The Centurions (10-2) were forced to punt from their own goal line, and the punter stepped out of the end zone for a safety. Will Rees ran back the subsequent kickoff 69 yards for a touchdown to put the Falcons up 9-0.
Saugus bounced back quickly with Eldridge completing touchdown passes to Sheaffer and Jared Pane inside the first quarter.
Joe Suh gave Crescenta Valley a 15-14 halftime lead with an 8-yard touchdown run in the second quarter.
Saugus went up 22-15 early in the second half when Sheaffer broke free up the middle for an 80-yard run.
Saugus recovered a short kickoff and extended its lead with Eldridge scoring on a quarterback sneak. It then added a field goal after an interception – one of Crescenta Valley’s five turnovers.
The Falcons fought back with Doyle throwing touchdown passes to Rees and Andrew Traber. The gap closed to 32-29 with 8:39 to play, but Saugus finished the game with Gary Bojorquez scoring a rushing touchdown with 1:31 left in the game.