Saugus uses balanced attack to beat Canyon

Saugus running back Reid Huseman scores a touchdown as Canyon's Aydyn Litz (12) and Antonio Amador try to bring him down during the second quarter on Friday, Oct. 26, 2018 at College of the Canyons. The touchdown put Saugus ahead 21-0. Keven Karzin/For The Signal
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Saugus ended its regular season in style on Friday night, shutting out Canyon 41-0 at College of the Canyons.

Quarterback Cole Gallagher and the Centurions’ (7-3 overall, 3-2 in Foothill League) offense didn’t waste any time, as they engineered a 12-play drive on their first possession, ending with a 5-yard touchdown pass to Devin Thompson.

The Centurions started at their own 8-yard line on their third drive of the game and Gallagher drove his team down the field, eventually hooking up with Trevor Girch for an 18-yard touchdown.

After going ahead 14-0, Saugus didn’t let up, as Gallagher once again connected with a multitude of receivers, then handed the ball off to his running back Reid Huseman who powered through Canyon’s defense for a 12-yard touchdown.

The combination of Huseman, Josh Bond and Cameron Warr in the backfield applied constant pressure on Canyon’s defense all night.

“They are just workhorses, they get the yards and they put in the work,” Gallagher said about his running back committee. “Josh, Reid and Cam know how to play. Those guys are ballers.”

With injuries to the offensive line, Saugus was forced to insert players who hadn’t played on the O-line all season.

With the pocket protection Gallagher was getting all night, it was as if they’d been starting all season long.

“Our offense was amazing. I have to give credit to our offensive line,” said senior linebacker Blake Adams, who nabbed his second interception of the season. “We’ve had some issues with injuries and people had to step up who have never played before and they did awesome.”

“It’s the epitome of team effort. We have guys playing O-line who hadn’t played there all season long step in and perform for us,” said Saugus head coach Jason Bornn. “That’s the epitome of what we’re all about. Guys stepping in and they did a great job.”

“They did terrific. Jake (Villaneuva) and Benny (Bacelis) and Mason (Oh) have been stable all year,” Gallagher said. “We had guys step in and do a great job and I couldn’t ask for anything more.”

Gallagher closed the first half with his third touchdown pass of the game, this time throwing to senior Jakob De Britz for a 5-yard score.

It was De Britz’s first score of the season and his teammates were ecstatic as he secured the touchdown grab.

“It’s probably the happiest I’ve been all season,” Gallagher said. “I was so happy to get it for him.”

Canyon (2-8, 0-5) once again had to deal with injuries, a problem that’s been plaguing the Cowboys all season long.

The Cowboys had only 24 players dressed and that was before safety James Mendibles had to leave the game due to injury.

The lack of bodies forced quarterback Aydyn Litz to step into a defensive role.

“I’m super proud of my team. We had 24 people all night and we’re putting injured people in for injured people,” Litz said. “We’re all pushing and fighting and when James got injured I had to go in.”

On a positive note, senior running back Jake Acquaviva returned for the Cowboys after a five-game absence.

Saugus continued its offensive onslaught in the third quarter, as Gallagher found Thompson for a 4-yard touchdown.

Thompson finished the game with three catches for 20 yards and two touchdowns. He also was close to intercepting Litz in the first half, but the ball bounced off his fingertips.

“I think I did pretty good but I still need to get better week in and week out and keep grinding,” Thompson said.

Finally, Huseman scored his second touchdown of the game to put Saugus up 41-0.

Gallagher ended the game going 22-for-32 for 236 passing yards and four touchdowns.

Huseman finished the game with 84 yards on 13 carries and two touchdowns. He added two catches for 19 yards.

Bond accumulated 40 rushing yards and Warr added 21 yards on the ground.

Girch finished with six catches for 54 yards and a score. De Britz added four catches for 51 yards plus the touchdown. Wide receiver James Sumpter had 43 yards on four catches.

The victory sealed a second-place finish for Saugus in the Foothill League. Hart and West Ranch also finished the season with a 3-2 record in league.

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