The Saugus Sachems entered this week’s action still searching for that elusive first victory. They have come excruciatingly close to entering the win column twice, and last Thursday night’s 15-14, heartbreaking football defeat at Greater Lawrence Tech was about as close as a team could come without winning.
The Sachems held a 14-7 lead into the final minute. But the host Reggies, who accumulated more than 400 yards of total offense, drove for the game-winning touchdown. They scored as time expired. Saugus still held a 14-13 edge that didn’t last long, as Greater Lawrence, which improved to 2-7, bowled in for the two-point conversion and the victory.
The contest was tied 7-7 at the half before Saugus quarterback Sean O’Rourke found his favorite target Drew Gardiner on a 40-plus yard scoring pass in the third quarter. The extra-point kick gave the Sachems a 14-7 lead. It stayed that way until the final play.
The Greater Lawrence loss was hauntingly similar to Saugus’s late-game setback at Salem back on Oct. 7. In that contest, the Sachems owned a 6-0 lead until the Witches tallied twice in the final three minutes to steal it. The clinching touchdown came on a 90-yard interception return when the Sachems appeared to be driving for the potential game-winning score.
Grabbing a win in fall 2021 will now be a major challenge for Saugus. The 0-9 Sachems took on the 7-2 East Boston Jets at Christie Serino Jr. Stadium on Thursday night (after press deadline). Against common opponent Winthrop this season, the Jets emerged victorious 22-14 while Saugus was blanked by a 22-0 margin against the Vikings.
The Sachems end the season with the annual Thanksgiving Day battle against Peabody on Nov. 25. The Tanners were 5-4 overall entering this week’s action.