A game for Cents to chew on

Saugus has time to reflect after loss heading into bye

By Michael Grandinetti
For The Signal

Saugus quarterback Jared Carbajal (15) reaches the ball over the goal line to score a touchdown against Taft behind offensive lineman Adam Edwards (65) on Friday at College of the Canyons

After recapturing the lead on the first play of the fourth quarter, the Saugus High football team suffered a heartbreaking 28-21 loss to Taft High School Friday at College of the Canyons.

Penalties, turnovers and big plays hurt the Centurions late as Taft was able to squeak away with its first victory of the season.

“We didn’t capitalize on their mistakes, and we made mistakes that helped them,” said Saugus head coach Jason Bornn.

In total, the Centurions committed two turnovers and 10 penalties for 110 yards.

Saugus miscues were apparent from the opening play from scrimmage when quarterback Jared Carbajal fumbled the football, giving possession to the Toreadors deep inside Saugus field position.

Three plays later, Taft (1-3) capitalized with a 12-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Jake Dashnaw to wide receiver Anthony Fowler.

Trailing 7-0 with five minutes left in the second quarter, the Centurions (3-2) finally scored a touchdown on a 6-yard option keeper from their quarterback. 

Carbajal scored once more before the end of the second quarter on a 1-yard quarterback sneak, giving Saugus a 14-7 lead going into halftime.

Just as Saugus seemed to be gaining control and dictating the end result of the game, momentum quickly shifted back to Taft as running back Dejaun Butler returned a punt 65 yards for a touchdown, tying the score 14-14. 

“He’s a playmaker, that’s why he’s on the field,” said Taft head coach Chris Rizzo.

Saugus High running back Tyler Watt (4) races downfield on a fake punt play against Taft during the first quarter on Friday at College of the Canyons. The Centurions led at halftime but ultimately fell to the Toreadors 28-21.

However, Saugus would once again regain the lead when running back Vincent Gerardo scored on a 6-yard touchdown run, giving Saugus a 21-14 lead with 11:56 to play in the game.

But Taft would quickly answer.

With 11:01 left in the fourth quarter, Dashnaw connected for a 72-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Devon Hawkins.

Later in the fourth, Dashnaw and Fowler hooked up once again on a 35-yard touchdown, giving Taft the 28-21 lead.

Taft ultimately withstood a late Saugus push, giving the Toreadors their first win of the season.

Bornn took responsibility for his team’s performance. 

“This one is on us,” he said. “We got to go back to the drawing board.”

After a bye week, Saugus will begin Foothill League play at Canyon on Oct. 14.

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