The Centurions have to replace their quarterback after winning the Foothill League title outright in the spring season

Saugus High football coach Jason Bornn speaks to his team after topping rival Valencia in the spring. (Tarek Fattal)

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As we head into the 2021 fall high school football season, the Los Angeles Daily News is publishing preseason coverage that includes team rankings and lists of the top players to watch by position.

The season begins the week of Aug. 19-21.

DAILY NEWS TOP 10 

No. 9 Saugus

Coach: Jason Bornn

pring record: 5-0, 5-0 Foothill League

Top returners: Sebastian Dallaire, WR/QB, Sr.; Riley Albiston, OL, Jr.; Vinnie Gallagher, RB/DB, Jr.; Dario Sandoval, DL, Jr.;  Brandon Lee, OL/DL, Sr.; Dylan Hampsten, LB, Jr.; Braden Salazar, DB, Sr.; Jacob Viger, RB/LB, Jr.

Key losses: Colton Fitzgerald, QB; Hunter Girch, WR; Seth Edwards, DL/OLOutlook: Saugus won its first outright Foothill League title since 2008 by dethroning 11-time defending league champion Valencia this past spring. But now, the Centurions will experience life without reigning league MVP Colton Fitzgerald at quarterback. Sebastian Dallaire, a natural wide receiver, is sliding over to play quarterback this fall.

“He’s our best athlete, a flat-out football player,” Saugus coach Jason Bornn said of Dallaire. “He’s more than capable (of playing quarterback), but it would be nice if someone was throwing him the ball.”

Junior running backs Vinnie Gallagher and Jake Viger will absorb more responsibility on offense. Gallagher and Viger showed flashes of promise in the spring, rushing for more than 400 combined yards and five touchdowns in the team’s five games.

Saugus’ toughest nonleague matchup will come Sept. 10 at Simi Valley. It wouldn’t be surprising if the Centurions have just one loss heading into its regular-season finale at home against Valencia on Oct. 29.

Biggest question: Will Saugus be able to make up for the absence of Colton Fitzgerald?

Only time will tell.

Regular reason prediction: 7-3

Schedule

Aug. 20: at Santa Barbara

Aug. 27: at Moorpark

Sept. 3: Camarillo

Sept. 10: at Simi Valley

Sept. 17: Oxnard

Oct. 1: at Canyon*

Oct. 8: Hart*

Oct. 15: at Golden Valley*

Oct. 22: West Ranch*

Oct. 29: Valencia*

*Foothill League game