Saugus has its hands full

Muir has some major weapons

Dan Watson/The Signal

In its season opener, the Saugus High football team went up against a talented running back.

In the second game, Saugus is going up against a lot of offensive talent, period.

The Centurions will travel to face Muir High of Pasadena at 7 p.m. today, and Muir boasts wide receiver/defensive back Kevon Seymour, running back Tairen Owens and an offense that scored 37 unanswered points to rout San Gabriel 44-20 last week.

Owens has committed to Washington, while Seymour is one of the top recruits in the nation and has offers from most of the Pac-12 schools as well as Florida and Nebraska. They backed up the hype against San Gabriel, when Owens had 112 all-purpose yards and Seymour scored on a 52-yard touchdown reception and a 59-yard punt return.

Moreover, Muir quarterback Josh Washington threw for 232 yards and four touchdowns. 

Saugus head coach Jason Bornn knows Muir (1-0) will be tough to stop, but he’s not letting his team get wrapped up in the statistics.

“They’re for the media,” said Bornn, who spent five years coaching at Muir High early in his career. “We don’t really care. At the end of the night, if they have 500 yards and we have 120 but we won, that’s all that really matters.”

That approach worked out for the Centurions last week, when they gave up 278 yards rushing to Zander Anding but outplayed Burroughs High of Burbank in the fourth quarter to win.

Still, a night like that might have Owens and Muir head coach Ken Howard licking their chops. But Howard expects a tougher defensive effort from Saugus, and he said his offense will rely on whoever’s having a big night.

“We’re going to find that guy,” Howard said. “Wherever we can strike them at, we’re going to go that route.”

Muir’s biggest goal, according to Howard, is cleaning up its mistakes. The Mustangs committed 17 penalties last week and had an 18th that was declined as the clock expired.

“It was the first game for us and the kids and the officials,” Howard said. “A lot of it was miscues. Going into games, we have to play our game, and we can’t worry about how the game’s being called. If we do what we’re supposed to do, we’ll limit those mistakes.”

Saugus (1-0) limited its mistakes in the fourth quarter against Burroughs and forced a big turnover late, when defensive back Scott Hamilton stripped Anding and linebacker Denley Rodriguez recovered.

Quarterback Jared Carbajal also came alive in the second half and finished with 188 rushing yards on 23 carries.

Bornn credited Saugus’ conditioning for grinding out the win.

“We’re not going to be the biggest, strongest or fastest team,” he said. “We’re not. But I can guarantee you there’s not going to be a team in better shape than us. When you see what these kids have done since January until now, the amount of work they’ve put in is tremendous.”

It’s gotten the Centurions off to a 1-0 start, and they’ll try to improve to 2-0 today.

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