Saugus snatches victory in final second against Bishop Diego
By Nathaniel Graham
For The Signal
Saugus football lead for a total of one second in their home playoff game against Bishop Diego. It was only that one second that mattered as the Centurions quarterback Cole Gallagher was able to lead the Centurions in a 38-35 comeback victory to be remembered.
Cardinals junior tailback Adrian Socacco was the star of the game on offense, rushing over 300 yards. However it was all for not, as a costly fumble with less than two minutes to play allowed the Centurions to drive 30 yards down the field and kick a field goal with only one second left on the clock.
“That guy knows how to play, man,” said Centurion starting quarterback Cole Gallagher. “He’s only a junior so I’m sure he’s going to have another great year next year and I can’t wait to see what he does.”
The Centurions (7-3) elected to put their faith in the arm of their senior quarterback Cole Gallagher who went 25-of-42 through the air with 344 yards, two passing touchdowns and two rushing touchdowns.
Meanwhile, the Cardinals (4-6) elected to put their faith in their running game, rushing for over 450 yards.
A fumble recovery in the first quarter nearly saw Bishop Diego run away with the advantage as they extended their lead to 13-0 and gaining the momentum in the process.
The Centurions would not be counted out as senior quarterback Cole Gallagher lead the team back with 176 yards through the air and two passing touchdowns in the first half, siphoning the Cardinals lead to just one point at the end of the half, trailing 21-20.
The Cardinals entered the second half firing on all cylinders as they marched 80 yards capped off on a 14-yard rushing touchdown by quarterback Jake Engel.
The Centurions answered right back with an 80-yard drive of their own. Gallagher continued his dominating game running for a 3-yard touchdown and completing a quick-snap dump pass to his tight end for the two-point conversion evening the game up at 28.
A pair of scores between the two teams tied the game up at 35 and gave Gallagher and the Centurions the ball with about three minutes left.
A freak deflection caused an interception which gave the Cardinals the ball on the Saugus 35 and seemingly the victory.
The Saugus defense did not allow their senior quarterback’s comeback to be in vain as they forced a fumble and gave Gallagher the ball back on the Saugus 25.
Gallagher stormed the Centurions down the field and gave Saugus the chance to kick a game-winning, 43-yard field goal. Saugus’ kicker had already missed a field goal and an extra point in the game. However, he hit the one that mattered the most to advance the Centurions to the quarterfinals of the CIF playoffs.
“We really believe and preach that as long as you have air in your lungs you’re still in the fight,” said Saugus head coach Jason Bornn. “A lot of these kids have played together for a long time and it’s just who they are they’re going to fight until the very end.”
Saugus will look to make it to the semifinals as they take on Villa Park on the road next week.