SAUGUS — The chemistry between Saugus quarterback Cam Preston and wide receiver Isiah Rodriguez was palpable Friday night as the duo torched the Northeast Metro defense en route to a 28-22 victory at Saugus Middle-High School.
The Sachems came out with a right hook in the first quarter, getting a massive fourth down stop before a 26-yard connection between Preston and Rodriguez on their first offensive play of the game.
Preston tossed 48 yards on the first drive, leading to a 2-yard rushing score from senior captain Tommy DeSimone (140 yards on 28 rushes) to open the scoring (6-0).
The Knights responded in a hurry, as lead back Christopher Zullo took home a 66-yard touchdown to even things 6-6 the very next possession.
The Sachems picked up where they left off with Rodriguez making another impressive catch to put his team in the red zone. A few plays later, it was DeSimone getting his second score of the night from the 2-yard line to give the Sachems the lead right back.
The two-point conversion was converted on a completion to Rodriguez in the back of the endzone to put the Sachems ahead 14-6 as the first quarter expired.
Sachems’ Head Coach Steve Cummings’ major risk to start the second quarter paid off, as Pharaoh Bradenburg recovered an onside kick to give the Sachems the ball back.
Even with possession back for the Sachems, the Knights’ defense held strong for a red zone stop. The score remained 14-6 at halftime.
Just as the second half got going, the Sachems used their first possession to extend the lead, as Preston and Rodriguez connected for the final time of the night for a 47-yard score.
Rodriguez finished the game with five catches for 134 yards and a score, continuously getting over the top of the Knights’ defense. As for Preston, he recorded 246 yards through the air, completing 11 of 18 attempts alongside a touchdown.
The Knights quickly responded – yet again – on their last drive with Sam Lacombe’s 20-yard rush to put them in position, and a 3-yard touchdown from Zullo to cut the Sachems’ lead to seven in a 21-14 battle. Zullo finished with 156 yards on 21 rushes and two touchdowns.
The Sachems’ flame on offense could not be put out, as Preston linked up with Ameen Taboubi for 28 yards. They continued to march downfield on a long drive capped off by DeSimone’s hat-trick touchdown.
The Knights had a chance to win the game on a potential go-ahead drive with four minutes remaining, but a clutch interception by Saugus’ Ryan Shea sealed the deal.
Saugus hosts Lynn Tech Saturday, Sept. 23 at 1 p.m.