It may be premature to describe Saugus High's 14-0 win over Hoover on Thursday night at College of the Canyons as the beginning of the Dick Flaherty era.
But Centurion fans will take it just the same.
Saugus gave notice that it would not be the same team that was 0-10 last season when LaMark Allen returned a punt 77 yards down the right sideline for a touchdown midway through the first quarter.
"It's going to be a much happier day tomorrow at Saugus High," said Flaherty, who was an assistant coach at Canyon the past seven years before taking over the Saugus program this season. "We've got a long way to go but hopefully this gave us a little credibility."
The Centurion defense was especially impressive.
Hoover quarterback Eric Messal rushed for 77 yards but completed only 3 of 12 passes for 29 yards. He was under constant pressure by outside linebacker Ron Ceo and defensive end Tom Erickson.