Coming in as a significant underdog against a ranked Rockland squad, the Saugus Sachems held their own against the visiting Bulldogs for most of the first half before succumbing, 33-0, in football action last Friday night at the Christie Serino Jr. Athletic Sports Complex. It was the seventh straight loss for the Sachems, who are still looking for their first victory of fall 2021. After giving up a quick touchdown to Rockland on its opening drive of the game, the Sachems’ defense played better over the remainder of the first half and kept the hosts in the game.
The Sachems’ offense got off to a promising start on its second drive. Quarterback Sean O’Rourke connected with receiver Ryan Mabee on a 12-yard pass play on first down, but two runs for short gains and a sack stalled the potential march. The defense got the ball right back for Saugus when lineman Jake Camuso sacked Rockland’s quarterback and forced a fumble. Teammate Alejandro Ortiz recovered it in Rockland territory. But the Sachems couldn’t take advantage. O’Rourke just missed hooking up with favorite receiver Drew Gardiner over the middle when he slightly underthrew him.
The Bulldogs scored a TD and extra point to make it 14-0 early in the second quarter. A first-down run by Tommy Desimone kicked off Saugus’s ensuing possession before the Sachems were eventually forced to punt.
Momentum appeared to swing Saugus’s way again when the defense stopped Rockland on a fourth-down attempt from midfield. The Sachems then eventually went for it on a fourth-and-six from Rockland’s 43 but couldn’t convert. Rockland then added another TD and extra point to enter halftime up by a 21-0 margin.
The hosts had another chance to get back in the game when Luvans Siantulus recovered a Rockland fumble on the opening kickoff of the second half. With the ball on the visitor’s 45 yard line, the Sachems were unable to move the ball and went three and out.
Rockland, which improved to 5-1, scored twice more to put the contest out of reach after three periods. Saugus’s offensive line had trouble handling Rockland’s pass rush throughout the game, as the Bulldogs blitzed often to pressure O’Rourke and force many hurried throws.
Still in search of win number one, Saugus plays host to Winthrop tonight (scheduled 7 p.m. kickoff). The Vikings are 3-4 but defeated Gloucester and Salem by a combined 67-6 margin. The Sachems lost to both Gloucester and Salem by a collective 32-13 count.