Odd, but a win for Cents

Saugus makes less miscues than Golden Valley in ugly victory

By Jon Stein
Signal Staff Writer

There’s no other way to put it — it was an odd night of football on Friday night at Canyon High between Golden Valley and Saugus highs.

The teams continually found ways to lose possessions, with each team losing the ball three times, including three straight kickoffs to open the game in which the kicking team recovered the ball.

It was the Centurions who fixed their problems first, and ran their way to a 36-27 victory over the Grizzlies.

Saugus went deep into its playbook to put Golden Valley (1-7, 0-3) away, converting successful onside–kick attempts on its first two kickoffs of the evening — including the game’s opener.

Quarterback Jared Carbajal led the Centurions (5-3, 2-1), going 5-of-8 for 56 yards passing and a touchdown, and rushing for 118 yards on 15 carries and one touchdown.

One of those yards came on a 4th-and-1 play when Carbajal pretended to look toward the sideline before taking the snap and gaining a first down.

Saugus running back Quentin Hendrix would score on the drive with 8:14 remaining in the second quarter to put Saugus in front 15-6.

Despite the victory, the Saugus defense routinely had trouble stopping the Grizzlies’ offense.

Running back Earl Johnson continually burned Saugus defenders, finishing with a game-high 165 yards on 26 carries and two touchdowns.

Like Saugus, Golden Valley was prepared to take chances.

With 42-seconds to go in the half, and a fourth-and-goal from the Saugus 7-yard line, quarterback Reid Soliman rolled left and found wide receiver Chris Lozano in the end zone to pull within 15-12 at the break.

Unfortunately, for every play in which Saugus had trouble stopping the Grizzlies, Golden Valley aided the Centurions with untimely penalties.

The Grizzlies committed 12 penalties for 99 yards, routinely thwarting opportunities to seize momentum. 

None hurt more than a roughing-the-kicker penalty that kept a Saugus drive alive late in the third-quarter.

After the penalty, Carbajal took the ball deep into Golden Valley territory on a 30-yard quarterback keeper, before a Grizzlies’ personal-foul penalty gave Saugus the ball at the 11-yard line.

One play later, Carbajal ran 11 yards into the end zone with 2:10 remaining to put Saugus up 29-19.

Colton Jackson added another touchdown with 10:21 to go and the Grizzlies notched the final score with a 10-yard pass from Soliman (103 yards passing and one touchdown on 13-of-22 attempts) to wide receiver Chase Lewis with 3:23 left.

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