The Malibu High School varsity football team opened league play last week with a victory over the Grace Brethren Lancers, 21-6. Earlier in the season, the Sharks struggled in their non-league match-ups, and entered the game with a record of 1-4.
“All year long, we’ve been coming together, but we’ve just been short on some stuff,” Malibu head coach Ray Humphrey said. “I knew eventually we would click, and our guys stepped up the intensity and played four quarters of football.”
Grace Brethren scored first, but the Sharks answered right back on a scoring run by junior Matthew Mason. In the second quarter, senior Victor Tyler intercepted a pass, running it back more than 65-yards for a touchdown and giving the Sharks a 14-6 lead at halftime.
In their non-league games, the Sharks consistently failed to play at a high level late in the game. Last week, however, they dominated the Lancers on both sides of the ball throughout the game. After an interception on defense, the Sharks set up fullback Kyle Parker for a short run to put the team ahead, 21-6. Malibu’s linebacker duo of Jesse Conrad and Ryan Houge kept the Lancer’s offense reeling, and the secondary appeared to know the Lancers’ plays before they were even called, finishing the game with five interceptions.
“It was probably one of the best team games we’ve played all season,” Humphrey said. “We kept getting interceptions and causing fumbles, and just kept them on their heels.”
The Sharks play their next two games on the road against Fillmore and Santa Paula, but return home on Nov. 13 to face Villanova Prep for homecoming.
“It picks us up a lot,” Humphrey said of the victory. “They’re really starting to believe that they can do some damage in league and maybe compete for a league title if they are playing the way they are playing.”