The Saugus Centurions (2-0) put on an offensive clinic Friday night at College of the Canyons’ Cougar Stadium, finishing with 365 total yards of offense in their 41-13 home win over the Moorpark Musketeers (1-1).
That total doesn’t include the 91 yards that senior AJ Goodman ran on the second-half kickoff, taking it all the way to the house for a touchdown to put Saugus up, 20-0. That gives Goodman two kickoff returns for touchdowns in the Centurions’ two games so far this season.
“I saw the hole, and I just hit the hole,” Goodman said. “Honestly, it’s all because of the blocking. Honestly, thank you to the blocking.”
Saugus senior quarterback TJ Cataldi was slinging the ball over the field, finishing 7-of-23 with 229 yards and three touchdowns, each to a different target. The first went to senior Jake Viger from 5 yards out midway through the first quarter, the second to senior Dario Sandoval from 6 yards near the end of the third quarter, and the last one to senior Khai Ky-Yeith from 36 yards out near the end of the fourth quarter.
“He’s doing exactly what we’ve asked him,” Saugus head coach Jason Bornn said. “He’s not trying to take games over, he’s just doing simply what we need him to do, and that’s just manage the offense.”
The last pass to Ky-Yeith gave the senior his seventh catch and brought him up to 167 yards receiving on the night. It was a welcome sight for the receiver to reach the end zone after putting his team in scoring positions throughout the contest.
“We give [the players] every opportunity to do well,” Bornn said. “We give them opportunities, and it’s up to them to do whatever they do with it once they get the ball.”
The Centurions’ defense stood out, especially in the first half, holding Moorpark to just 122 yards of total offense and zero points on the board. The Musketeers nearly cut the deficit in half near the end of the second quarter, but Vinny Gallagher stripped the ball in the end zone for an interception and a touchback.
“It was huge,” Bornn said. “I mean, it was one of those plays that could have very easily swung the tide of the game in their favor.”
Moorpark was able to take advantage of some of the Saugus backups coming in to close out the game, racking up a couple of touchdowns late. But overall, Bornn was pleased with how his defense was constantly doing the right things, and Cataldi couldn’t have been happier to keep running out onto the field with the lead still intact.
“Our defense is unbelievable,” Cataldi said. “We have great players at all three levels of the defense. We’ve got great athletes. We also have a great scheme behind coach Bornn.”
The Centurions’ other two scores came from a 3-yard run by Deohn Turner to start the scoring on the last play of the first quarter, and then a 3-yard run from Gallagher midway through the third quarter. All six scores were carried into the end zone by different players.
Gallagher had 44 yards on seven carries. Turner had just the one carry but was a constant threat on the defensive side.
Junior Paige McGee was a perfect 5-of-5 on extra points for Saugus.
The Centurions will now look forward to next week’s road game at Camarillo, with Cataldi hoping for more of the same.
“We started off rough our first game, but, you know, the second game showed how much we’ve come together,” Cataldi said. “We’ve still got a lot to go, you know, but I feel like we can definitely do it, do our best in league [play].”