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Santa Barbara Falls to Saugus in Season Opener

Dons defense struggles while giving up 28 points before halftime

Santa Barbara High fell behind early and never recovered, losing to Saugus, 35-7, in a football season opener on Friday at College of the Canyons.

Putting forth a strong effort for the Dons was senior quarterback Jeremiah Nicholson, who had 136 yards passing and 118 yards rushing to go along with a late touchdown scamper.

On the fifth play from scrimmage, Tahjeeem Johnson-Rahmaan busted loose on a 40-yard run that gave the Centurions an early 7-0 advantage.

Nevertheless, Santa Barbara drove down the field on their first possession behind the steady arm of Nicholson and balanced running game of tailback Ruben Velez.

After reaching the red zone,  the Dons were interecepted at the 18-yard line by a Saugus cornerback.

Not long after, Centurions used a 64-yard passing touchdown from quarterback Nathan Eldridge to put them up 14-0. Following a three and out by Santa Barbara’s offense, Saugus got on the board again to take a 21-0 lead. 

A fumbled punt return set up another Centurions score with only 22 seconds remaining in the second quarter. This touchdown gave Saugus a commanding 28-0 advantage headed into halftime.

Santa Barbara found itself down 35-0 headed into the final minutes of play.

The Dons finally got on the board on a 12-yard run by Nicholson into the end zone.

Santa Barbara (0-1) looks to regroup when it travels to  Santa Maria next Friday.

— Noozhawk sports reporter Blake DeVine can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @NoozhawkSports and @noozhawk. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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