SAUGUS — A feisty Saugus football team dominated the play clock, but Amesbury came up with all the big plays Saturday at sunny Stackpole Field, and that proved to be more than enough as the Indians stayed unbeaten in NEC/CAL Tier 3 play with a solid 29-19 win.
The win kept the surging Indians (3-0, 7-2) on top of the league with just two more regular season games to go, while a deceptively good Saugus team fell to 0-4 and 4-5 on the season.
“I think they are as tough as anyone in the league,” said Amesbury head coach Thom Connors after watching the Sachems run nearly twice as many plays from the line of scrimmage (54-to-29) as the Indians.
“I’ve watched them several times and the thing about them is that they don’t give up. They will go down a touchdown and they come right back. I take my hat off to them, they are relentless.”
The difference on this day, however, was that Saugus simply didn’t have a troika of explosive playmakers like Matt Talbot, Ben Cullen and Devlin Gobeil. Talbot, the dynamic Amesbury quarterback, rushed for 114 yards and two scores on just 11 carries and also passed the 1,000-yard plateau in passing yardage as he connected with the athletic, 6-foot-3 Gobeil four times for 70 yards, including a scintillating one-handed grab in the first quarter. Cullen? The junior speedster took all the air out of Saugus’ answering score in the first quarter by taking the ensuing kick 85 yards up the Sachem sidelines to pay dirt.
“That’s a very good team, but we think we are too,” said Saugus coach Mike Broderick. “(Talbot) is a good player and their kids were moving today. Their line is pretty fast — faster than we thought — so they were able to seal us in and get out to the perimeter. They’re good and No. 12 (Gobeil) is one of the best receivers we have faced all year.”