Cents run the table

Saugus gets huge rushing performances from Carbajal, Watt

By Eric Smith

PALMDALE —  Knight High of Palmdale head coach Cory Guilfoos didn’t hide.

When the merciful second half was finally over, he was the first on the field to greet Saugus’ players and coaches in the handshake line.

He had nothing but compliments for them, which was expected considering the outcome, a 43-32 Saugus win at Knight High on Friday night.

What looked like a Hawks rout in the opening two quarters turned sour quickly in the second half.

Leading 19-0 at the break, the Knights (1-2) allowed 43 unanswered points over the final two quarters. 

And they were beaten the old-fashioned way — with a smashmouth, grind-it-out ground attack from Saugus (3-1).

“We said all week that we had to stop the run,” Gulifoos said. “They just controlled us up front in the second half, we didn’t come after it.”

Knight’s defense was on the field for 38 plays in the second half. 

Saugus threw the ball just once, racking up an astounding 304 yards on the ground on the other 37 plays.

Saugus quarterback Jared Carbajal rushed for 179 yards and three scores on 23 carries while running back Tyler Watt accounted for 175 yards and three more scores on 25 carries.

Guilfoos said his squad dressed only 29 players, so fatigue might have been a factor. 

But the coach also noted that some of his players seemed to not want to make a play when it mattered.

“When they’re shoving the ball down the field, I had too many guys wanting to come out,” he said. “It’s gut-check time there.”

If Guilfoos was exasperated with his defense, he was more than pleased with the Hawks offense in the loss. The unit put on an aerial display, showcasing how potent the attack can be.

Junior quarterback Tony Dawson threw for 308 yards, a new Knight school record, and tossed three touchdowns.

Dawson’s main target was senior wide receiver Ronald Jones, who hauled in six catches for 180 yards and two scores. Toya Jackson also caught a score. 

Knight’s ground game wasn’t spectacular, but the unit did manage to rush for 85 yards on 24 carries. Corey Finister and Alonte Riley each added touchdowns on the ground. 

“I was very happy with our performance,” Guilfoos said. 

Saugus began double and even triple-teaming Jones in the second half, leaving him with just one catch. Guilfoos said the offense adjusted accordingly, something the Knight defense, however, failed to do as Saugus seemingly ran the same two plays down the field in the second half.

“You have a 19-point lead, the game is never over,” Guilfoos said. “There’s four quarters of football, it’s a good learning experience for us.”

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