Saugus celebrated homecoming in style Friday night, defeating Thousand Oaks 42-6 behind a strong showing from quarterback Cole Gallagher at College of the Canyons.
A crowd of Centurions new and old, including members of Saugus’ original graduating class of 1978, were on hand to watch as their team continued its undefeated streak behind Gallagher’s offensive showcase.
The senior signal-caller led the team with 153 yards on 12-of-17 passing and a touchdown. It was his running game that was even more impressive, as he rushed for four touchdowns, giving him seven total rushing touchdowns on the season.
“When I played with Cole I knew he loved to run the ball, but we have to remind him he’s not invincible,” said Centurions linebacker Myles Garrett. “So we have to remind him to slide at times but that’s just his character. He’s persistent and tough-headed and he loves punching it into the end zone.”
Only one of the four rushing scores was by design, as Gallagher was able to extend plays when he couldn’t find any open receivers.
Head coach Jason Bornn was impressed with his quarterback and credits him for being able to make something out of nothing.
“He continues to make plays out of situations that sometimes the defense does a great job defending,” Bornn said. “He does a great job of extending the play or carrying the play even further down the field with his legs.”
Senior wide receivers Trevor Girch and James Sumpter paced Saugus (4-0) on the outside. Girch finished with three catches for 83 yards and a touchdown. Sumpter had four catches for 22 yards, adding a score on a botched punt attempt by Thousand Oaks (0-4). He also blocked a Lancers punt to end the first quarter.
Senior linebacker Blake Adams started the night off with a bang, sacking Lancers quarterback Dylan Cain on the second play of the game, forcing a fumble that he recovered. Gallagher would score his first rushing touchdown of the night two players later.
“It changed the course of the game,” Adams said. “It swayed momentum in our favor.”
The Centurions defensive line applied pressure on the Lancers offensive line the entire game, giving the visiting team little room to operate.
Robert Ferialdi and Gaetano Ferrera recorded three sacks between the two of them, and Carson Smith and Angelo Bornn were constantly swarming the quarterback, disrupting any potential momentum the Lancers were trying to build.
“Our main success comes from our D-linemen, who are able to get off the blocks very well and make sacks when we need them to,” Garrett said. “Without our D-linemen and the effectiveness of our secondary, I don’t think we’d be as successful as we are right now.”
“They’re playing with a lot of passion and intensity,” Bornn said about his defensive line. “They understand our scheme. Where our strengths are, where our weaknesses are and they’ve bought in full force.”
Saugus will look to continue their undefeated start to the season when they take on St. Francis next week on the road.