Cents stay perfect behind ground game

Saugus runningback Quinn Sheaffer (24) heads toward the goaline against Golden Valley at College of the Canyons on Friday. 100716

Led by another strong defensive effort, Saugus extended its perfect record into the first week of Foothill League play with a 21-9 victory over Golden Valley on Friday night at College of the Canyons.

Saugus (6-0, 1-0) relied mostly on its ground game Friday with Quinn Sheaffer running for 98 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries. Nathan Eldridge threw for 67 yards on 7-of-15 passing.

Golden Valley (4-2, 0-1) was led by quarterback Josh Valano’s 188 yards on 21-of-37 passing. Receiver Jalin Lewis had eight receptions for 95 yards for the Grizzlies.

“We were very excited that we played them competitively and executed well on both sides of the ball,” Saugus head coach Jason Bornn said.

Both teams started the game with run-heavy offenses. Sheaffer had 76 yards on 10 carries in just the first quarter. That included a 31-yard touchdown run with 1:04 to play in the quarter.

Kj Maduike carried the load for Golden Valley with 17 carries for 66 yards during the game.

The Centurions opened up a 14-0 lead in the second quarter after a poor punt gave them the ball at the Golden Valley 30-yard line. Eldridge finished the drive with a 1-yard sneak.

The Grizzlies answered on the following drive with Maduike carrying the ball 20 yards into the end zone. Golden Valley added a field goal late in the half to cut the deficit to 14-9 going into the break.

The final score of the game came on a four-play 77-yard drive in the third quarter. The speedy Gary Bojorquez broke free for a 59-yard run to open the drive. Three plays later, he scored on a run from 4 yards out.

Golden Valley tried to mount a late comeback with a long fourth-quarter drive, but the Saugus defense stuffed Valano at the goal line on fourth down with 5:38 to play.

Saugus went three and out, but a muffed punt gave them the ball back at midfield. The Centurions were able to run out the clock with a couple of first downs to pick up the big win.

“Every game is a playoff game now,” Bornn said.



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