Villa Park too much for Cents

Prep foot­ball: Mis­takes, turnovers put end to Sau­gus’ sea­son

The Signal - - Sports - By Jon Stein

Sau­gus, a team his­tor­i­cally known for its rush­ing at­tack, made it a point this sea­son to show­case a more bal­anced of­fen­sive game plan.

That trend con­tin­ued in Fri­day’s 32-15 CIF-South­ern Sec­tion Di­vi­sion 4 loss to Villa Park at Col­lege of the Canyons.

With Villa Park will­ing to trust one-on-one cov­er­age on the out­side, the Cen­tu­ri­ons were de­ter­mined to push the ball deep down­field on routes down both side­lines.

Sau­gus wide re­ceivers found them­selves open deep through­out the con­test, but over­throws, un­der­throws and drops stymied the Sau­gus at­tack every time.

“That’s a big, phys­i­cal team up front,” said Sau­gus head coach Ja­son Bornn.

“We knew run­ning the ball would be a chal­lenge.”

As the Spar­tans ad­justed through­out the first half, the Cen­tu­ri­ons (8-4) fol­lowed suit at half­time, mov­ing the ball on the ground on their open­ing drive of the third quar­ter and get­ting on the board on a 7-yard touch­down run from Devin Thomp­son to pull within 19-7.

On the 15-play drive, quar­ter­back Cole Gal­lagher was in­jured af­ter mov­ing the Cen­tu­ri­ons into Spar­tan ter­ri­tory.

Backup Bray­den Gi­raldo stepped in, com­plet­ing a 13-yard pass and rush­ing for an­other 19 on the drive. He would add a 1-yard touch­down run late in the game.

“We saw some­thing from the first half we could take ad­van­tage of,” Bornn said.

Gal­lagher re­turned to start the fourth quar­ter, but the Sau­gus drive was cut short on the se­nior’s fourth in­ter­cep­tion of the night.

Af­ter Villa Park (12-0) pinned Sau­gus at its 1-yard line

on a punt, Gal­lagher’s first throw of the game was a catch­able ball to an opener re­ceiver across the mid­dle; the ball, though, bounced high into the air and was in­ter­cepted by John Tu’avao, who re­turned it to the Sau­gus 1-yard line be­fore Anthony Hakai punched it in for 6-0 Spar­tans lead.

“We came into this game think­ing they were a pass­ing team,” said Villa Park head coach Du­san An­cich. “We were for­tu­nate to get some turnovers.”

Hakai fin­ished with three touch­downs for Villa Park, two on the ground to go along with 142 yards on 21 car­ries and an­other score on a six-yard re­cep­tion.

As Villa Park con­tin­ued to move the ball with a healthy dose of Hakai, the Sau­gus de­fense did its best to keep the Cen­tu­ri­ons in the game.

Trail­ing 12-0, Sau­gus’ Matthew Ballentine in­ter­cepted quar­ter­back Paul Piferi and re­turned the ball to the Sau­gus 35.

But af­ter an­other deep shot sailed long down the side­line, Gal­lagher was picked off on a quick-out route to his left by Dy­lan Bonilla, who re­turned it for a touch­down and a 19-0 Spar­tans’ lead with 4:14 re­main­ing in the first half.

It was Bonilla’s sec­ond in­ter­cep­tion of the night and the third for the Spar­tans.

He would add a third later in the game.

“When you turn the ball over once it’s go­ing to be tough,” Bornn said. “We had four. You make it re­ally dif­fi­cult for your­self.”

Dan Wat­son/The Sig­nal (See ad­di­tional pho­tos on sig­nalscv.com)

Sau­gus de­fender Car­son Smith (82) sacks Villa Park quar­ter­back Paul Piferi (12) in the first quar­ter at Col­lege of the Canyons on Fri­day.

Dan Wat­son/The Sig­nal (See ad­di­tional pho­tos on sig­nalscv.com)

Sau­gus de­fend­ers Blake Adams (22) and An­gelo Bornn (10) smother Villa Park run­ning back Anthony Hakai (40) in the first quar­ter at Col­lege of the Canyons on Fri­day.

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