By Nate Graham/For the Signal
On the first play of the game, Grizzlies’ quarterback Zach Chevalier attempted a backwards pass that ended in seven points — for the Centurions.
That was the story of the game, turnovers hurt the Grizzlies as Saugus caused four of them — three of which were interceptions — forcing the Grizzlies to fall at home to the Centurions, 17-0.
“We were very happy with our secondary breaking on the balls, forcing turnovers as well as the pressure our defensive line was able to force,” said Centurion head coach Jason Bornn.
It was all Saugus in the first half as Golden Valley failed to make it past the 50-yard line in the first quarter. The Grizzlies offense left something to be desired as they could not capitalize on several opportunities, ending the first half down 14-0.
Saugus kept the momentum going in the second half, as senior Demaurea Ruiz returned the kickoff to the opposing 43-yard line.
A 39-yard run by workhorse running back Quinn Sheaffer got the Centurions inside the five-yard line. They were forced to settle for a field goal, giving them a 17-0 lead with just under 11 minutes left to play in the third quarter.
It was a tough finish to the second half for the Grizzlies as they threatened to score on multiple occasions, but two costly interceptions from the Centurions kept them from putting up any points.
Sheaffer finished the game with over 160 rushing yards on the day as the Centurions dominated the time of possession.
“It doesn’t matter if it’s the NFL, college, high school or pee-wee football, if you can establish some type of run game we feel it will give you a chance to win the ballgame,” Bornn said.
Sheaffer was modest about his performance as he held his offensive line in high regard when speaking about the rushing game.
“Basically, every time I got the ball on an inside zone I just saw my guys smacking some people around and they really opened up the holes well; they knew what they had to do,” Sheaffer said.
The Centurions will have their first home game next Friday against West Ranch. Meanwhile, the Grizzlies will look to rebound against Valencia, which has now won 28 straight Foothill League games.