By Jonathan Andrade
For The Signal
For the second straight week, the Saugus High football offense proved too powerful to handle.
The Centurions — led by senior quarterback Colton FitzGerald — overpowered Hart en route to a 35-10 victory Thursday night at Canyon High School.
“Offensively, we executed the game plan exactly how we wanted,” said Saugus head coach Jason Bornn. “It was great to see us hitting on all cylinders in the run and pass game.”
Saugus built a 28-point lead in the first half while Hart’s offense struggled early, managing one first down in the first quarter.
Saugus seized control of the game early despite a botched punt attempt on the opening drive. A penalty on the play gave the Centurions a fresh set of downs. Following a Hart facemask penalty, FitzGerald found senior receiver Hunter Girch in the end zone for a 37-yard touchdown to open the scoring.
“When you’re playing a team like that, you can’t make mistakes,” Hart head coach Rick Herrington said of the penalties.
Later in the first quarter, FitzGerald connected with junior receiver Sebastian Dallaire for a long 76-yard pass, setting up a 2-yard rushing touchdown by junior running back Jacob Faraldo.
“That was a very explosive play,” Dallaire said of his long reception. “It felt good to make the play and for us to score on that drive.”
Faraldo paced Saugus with 57 first-half rushing yards and a pair of catches for a combined 35 yards.
Saugus tacked on to its lead with a pair of FitzGerald touchdown passes, one to sophomore running back Vinny Gallagher and the other to Dallaire, who hauled in a 42-yard bomb with a minute left in the half.
Hart’s lone highlight of the opening half was a 21-yard pass from a scrambling Chase Depaco to Daniel Larkins.
Hart’s offensive woes continued in the second half as Depaco fumbled on the first play from scrimmage. Saugus capitalized with a 7-yard score from Faraldo, his second of the night.
Hart got on the board with 3:42 left in the third quarter off a 20-yard field goal by senior kicker Cruz Lopez. Saugus turned the ball over twice in the second half, with one resulting in a short touchdown pass from Depaco to Larkins with 5:20 left on the clock.
“We did play much better in the second half,” Herrington said. “They didn’t quit. They didn’t stop playing, which was good to see.
“We’re getting better. We have a lot of young guys playing.”
Bornn said he was satisfied with his team’s overall performance on the night.
“I couldn’t have asked for anything more from our guys,” Bornn said. “We played relentless, dogged football. We didn’t let up at all.”
Saugus next faces Golden Valley on April 1 while Hart battles league juggernaut Valencia. Both games are set to kick off at 7 p.m.