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Hart, Saugus battle in forecast game

Posted: October 15, 2009 10:14 p.m.
Updated: October 16, 2009 4:30 a.m.

The sense of urgency begins.

From the pre-league performances and the prognostications, we can gather that tonight’s Hart-Saugus matchup at Cougar Stadium at 7:30 p.m. is a game that can determine an awful lot.

Lose, and you’re likely out of the hunt for a Foothill League title.

Win, you might have, worse-case scenario, the inside track for the league’s No. 2 spot.

“It’s important for both of us,” said Saugus head coach Jason Bornn. “This contest Friday night will say where we’re going to finish at the end of the season.”

Saugus (1-4) came into the season ranked No. 4 in the CIF-Southern Section Northern Division poll. After a 17-7 season-opening win against Pasadena, the wheels have come off.

Saugus has lost four straight games, the most recent being a 50-0 loss to Crespi last Friday.

A lot has been made of Saugus’ pre-league schedule being rough.

After the losses and struggles, the question is: Was it worth it?

“Ask me that question in five weeks,” Bornn said. “You’ll have that answer in five weeks.”

Bornn said the good thing is, Saugus feels its record is now 0-0.

Pre-league performance is a factor in seeding for the postseason, yet getting into the playoffs is the No. 1 goal for both teams. To do that, these teams have to finish in the top three in the Foothill League.

This game could be a good indicator as to if both teams are playoff contenders.

Both sides believe they are better than what they’ve shown thus far.

“I don’t think we’ve played our best at all,” said Hart head coach Mike Herrington. “I think we still have a lot of room to play better on both sides of the ball.”   

Hart (3-2) is scoring points, to the tune of 28.2 per game, but the Indians are surrendering roughly the same amount — 27. The Indians are coming off a 28-7 victory over Paraclete on Oct. 2 and a bye last week.

Yet Herrington said he has seen improvement on the defensive side.

He has been particularly proud of the play of linebackers John Cornelius and Christian Blumel, mentioning them a couple of times this season as players who have been keys to the team’s success.

He also singled out Ty MacArthur, who has been a force at safety and wide receiver for the Indians.

Hart proved early on that it could move the ball.

Saugus hasn’t.

Due to a high ankle sprain, sophomore running back Tyler Watt, who much was expected from, missed the team’s first four games.

Other injuries have forced the Centurions to move players around.

The Centurions come into this game as healthy as they’ve been this season.

“It’s an exciting time,” Bornn said. “We got through our rigorous preseason schedule. We’re going to be able to see some guys at positions we thought they’d play when the season started.”

It’s a simple formula, but keys for Saugus are limiting Hart’s offense and putting points on the board.

For Hart, the Indians have struggled on special teams.

Herrington acknowledged that those struggles need to be fixed.



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