By Jonathan Andrade
For The Signal
Saugus High’s defense finally gave up some points this fall.
A long 65-yard touchdown pass on Camarillo’s first play from the line of scrimmage were the only points the stingy Saugus defense felt like gifting the Scorpions Friday night at College of the Canyons.
It was all Saugus after that as the Centurions pitched a shutout the rest of the night en route to the 10-7 victory.
“Your defense has to be solid across the board, and our kids are playing phenomenal,” said head coach Jason Bornn of the Centurions, who have outscored opponents 95-7 in three games.
Camarillo managed to drive into the Saugus red zone four times on the night, but the Centurions held firm each time, forcing the Scorpions to settle for four field goal attempts, all of which were either botched or blocked.
“We can always count on our defense,” said junior receiver AJ Goodman, who scored the lone touchdown of the night for Saugus.
Saugus got on the scoreboard in the first quarter when senior quarterback Sebastian Dallaire completed a short pass to Goodman, who broke a would-be Camarillo tackler and scampered all the way to the end zone for the 35-yard touchdown.
“I saw open space,” Goodman said. “I knew I was going to score a touchdown.”
Coaches and teammates weren’t surprised to see Goodman make his presence felt.
“He’s an absolutely dynamic and explosive football player,” Bornn said. “Any time that young man touches the ball, he’s a threat to score.”
Camarillo responded with its lone highlight of the night, a short pass from junior quarterback Brody Meyer to junior receiver Brandon Contreras, who sprinted up the Saugus sideline for a 65-yard touchdown to even the score, 7-7.
Bornn and the coaching staff took the blame for the defensive breakdown.
“(Camarillo) came out and did something we hadn’t seen before,” Bornn said. “That’s 100% on us as coaches. We have to do a better job of preparing our kids.”
Saugus opened the second half with a sizeable drive, but Dallaire was intercepted by Camarillo’s Ethan Nicely, who returned it to the Saugus 35-yard line. Despite the unfavorable field position, the Centurions were able to force a field goal, which was blocked by Saugus senior Tyler Long and recovered by fellow senior Cody Collier at Camarillo’s 46-yard line.
On the ensuing possession, Dallaire connected on a 25-yard pass to junior Austin Treahy, then scrambled for a 14-yard pick-up to set up a Saugus field goal. Senior Braden Salazar split the uprights to give Saugus the 10-7 advantage with 2:50 remaining in the third.
The Scorpions marched 90 yards on their next possession to earn a first-and-goal, but a Saugus sack, a Camarillo offensive facemask call and another bad snap on the field goal attempt kept the Saugus lead intact.
Camarillo mustered one more short drive late in the fourth quarter but Saugus forced a fumble to recapture possession for the offense to run out the clock.
The Centurions travel to face Simi Valley next Friday. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
“We’ll enjoy this win for the next couple of hours,” Bornn said, “but then we’ll get to work for Simi Valley.”