On a ceremonial evening when the school’s new football stadium was officially named, the Saugus Sachems could not carry the same uplifting vibe onto the field and ended up losing 22-0 to the visiting Winthrop Vikings in a Northeastern Conference battle last Friday night. The contest featured a halftime celebration in which the stadium was formally dedicated in honor of Christie Serino, Jr., whose son, Matthew Serino, is Winthrop’s athletic director. This year’s senior players were also recognized before the game.
On the field, the Sachems once again struggled to mount any consistent offensive attack. The team’s opening drive was promising, as Saugus produced an 11-play march into Winthrop territory. But it eventually stalled and resulted in no points.
Winthrop responded by scoring on a long pass play followed by a two-point conversion to forge ahead 8-0 after one period. The Sachems defense played well overall and stopped the Vikings deep in their Saugus territory late in the second quarter. That stand kept it close at 8-0 into the half.
Winthrop drew blood again in the third quarter with a touchdown and extra-point kick to go up 15-0. The Vikings would tack on one more touchdown and extra point to close out the scoring.
Sachems Head Coach Steve Cummings said the tone of the contest was set early. “When you move the ball down the field and don’t score, and then you give up a big pass play right at the beginning of the game, it’s tough to come back from that,” he told the press afterward. “I’m proud of the way our guys fought, and I thought we played some good defense for the most part. We just couldn’t get any breaks to go our way.”
Quarterback Sean O’Rourke did complete seven passes for 71 yards, but the Sachems’ offense was pretty much kept in check – outside of the opening drive. Winthrop controlled the ball and ran off a lot of clock in the second half.
Saugus fell to 0-8 on the season with a game at 1-7 Greater Lawrence Tech that was played Thursday night (after press deadline). The Sachems were hoping they could land in the win column for the first time in fall 2021.
Saugus honored its 10 senior players prior to last Friday’s opening kickoff: They were Mekhi Coburn, O’Rourke, Ryan Mabee, Drew Gardiner, Mark MacEachern, Chris Porcaro, Tre Sanders, Kyle Hogan, Jake Camuso and Alejandro Ortiz.
Cummings praised his senior contingent after the Winthrop game. “This wasn’t the year we wanted to have for them, but there’s no question that any success we have in the future will be because of how they handled this season and how they helped the young guys on the team.”