Saugus, Canyon football primed for statement games

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With both Saugus and Canyon coming off of tough losses, both teams are primed for a statement game in the final Foothill League contest of the season.

The Centurions (6-3 overall, 2-2 Foothill League) were able to pull ahead of Valencia 14-13 in the third quarter of last week’s game, but then failed to score for the rest of the night, losing 41-14.

The Cowboys (2-7 overall, 0-4 Foothill League) fought tooth-and-nail against Golden Valley last week, but a missed field goal as time expired resulted in a 35-33 loss.

With one more game on the schedule, Canyon is going to bring that grittiness to the gridiron one last time and fight for its first league win.

“We know it’s going to be the last one so we’re going to leave it all out on the field, we’re not going to hold anything back,” said Canyon wide receiver Carson Strickland. “I think they’re excited to play and leave it all out there.”

Strickland will miss the contest after suffering a broken foot and torn ligaments in last week’s game.

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Canyon has been dealing with injuries to key players all season and now add Strickland to that list. However, senior running back Jake Acquaviva has been cleared to return after missing the last five games.

Acquaviva has 384 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 64 carries in four games.

“We have our number one running back and Aydyn (Litz) is healthy so I think our run game should really dominate against Saugus,” Strickland said.

The Saugus defense knows what’s in store when it comes to Canyon’s running game.

“They run effectively in their power set where they try hitting it up the middle like old-fashioned, smash-mouth football,” said Saugus linebacker Myles Garrett. “Our defense needs to continue doing what it’s been doing all season, stop the run and limit explosive plays.”

The Centurions will stick to what they’ve been doing all year, a balanced attack led by quarterback Cole Gallagher.

Gallagher will make it an effort to get his playmakers involved early and often, including Saugus’ stable of running backs Reid Huseman, Cameron Warr, Josh Bond and Julian Bornn, who missed last week’s game due to injury.

“Our offense has the capability to score a lot of points, they just need to show it Friday night,” Garrett said. “We’re definitely ready to get a win and score some serious points.”

The game kicks off at 7 p.m. at College of the Canyons.

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