Saugus High Coach Al Hansen said before Friday night’s game with Burroughs that his team was ready to defend against a Burroughs offense that featured talented sophomore quarterback Jeff Barrett.
“They really have a lot of weapons,” said Hansen, while he watched the Burroughs (1-2-0) in pregame drills. “I think we’re going to see a lot of different things tonight.”
Hansen was wrong. The only thing he saw all night was a yellow penalty flag. The penalties, as much as anything else, contributed to Burroughs’ 6-2 victory over Saugus at Memorial Field in Burbank.
Saugus (0-2-1) was penalized 13 times for 110 yards, just 11 yards less than the team’s total offensive output.
“Some of our guys were confused,” Hansen said. “Burroughs does a lot of things to confuse the defense and our guys just kept jumping offside.” Burroughs Coach George Rosales was ready to jump onto the field himself as he watched his team commit 12 penalties for 97 yards.
“It was ridiculous, wasn’t it?” Rosales said. “I don’t know what was going on out there, but I know we’re going to get some things straightened out in practice this week.”
Rosales’ first order of the upcoming week will be to try and get Barrett back on track as the Burroughs most potent weapon.
Barrett had come into the game having completed 23 of 33 passes for 358 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions.
Friday night, Barrett did not have a bad game on paper. He completed 11 of 17 passes for 133 yards, including a 40-yard touchdown pass to Brian Kaloustain but didn’t look like the quarterback who had people making comparisons to former Burroughs standout Tom Tunnincliffe.
“Jeff made a lot of sophomore mistakes,” Rosales said. “He called some audibles when he shouldn’t have. Our offense took two steps backwards tonight.”
In the first half, neither team could generate much offense, leaving it to the teams’ punters to generate some excitement.
Saugus punter Brian McKinney started things for the Centurions when his punt from the Burroughs 37-yard line was downed by teammates about six inches from the goal line.
On Burroughs’ first play from scrimmage, the Saugus defense tackled running back Dan Cusumano for what appeared to be a safety. But the officials ruled that Cusumano had escaped to the one-yard line. the Saugus defense held its ground for two more plays setting up the first score of the night.
With 4:16 in the half, Burroughs punter Dave Tuszynski came in to punt. Tuszynski had already booted a 60-yarder earlier in the game, but he was now attempting to punt from deep in the end zone. Tuszynski bobbled the snap from center and he was pounced upon by defensive end Eric Newbury and a swarm of other Centurions, giving Saugus a safety and a 2-0 lead.
Burroughs took control of the ball with 2:06 left in the first half. The Indians went 78 yards in four plays, the big play coming on Barrett’s 40-yard bomb to Kaloustain with 26 seconds left that proved to be the game winner.