Malibu football is in good hands with Brennan Cassone. After his career on the gridiron is complete, the standout wide receiver’s future might just be with Allstate Insurance. Through three games this season, Cassone has caught 29 passes for 456 yards and four touchdowns, including the game-winning touchdown reception against Chadwick a couple weeks ago.
Cassone, 17, has emerged as the Sharks “go-to” player. With back-to-back games of 11 receptions each against Chadwick and Pasadena Poly, the senior captain is as sure-handed as they come.
“We know if we need something that he’s going to get it for us. We can trust in that,” Malibu Coach Ray Humphrey said. “That’s been the case since his sophomore year. He’s gotten bigger, stronger and faster.”
Humphrey credits Cassone’s success to his maturity as a player and captain.
“He’s stepping up and being a true leader out there. He showed why he’s in the position that he’s in,” Humphrey said. “He is our team captain for a reason and he’s taken ownership of that role. He’s matured and become a student of the game.”
Cassone’s individual performance versus Chadwick was both exciting and timely. Big-time players make big-time plays when they are needed most. Look no farther than to Cassone.
With Apollo Loomis and Dylan Miller, two talented receivers for the Sharks, sidelined due to knee injuries and not available for the game’s final drive, Cassone stepped up as did his quarterback, Chase Gardella.
Down by three. Eighty yards to go. 2:08 on the clock. Gardella looked Cassone in the eyes and said, “Let’s do this.”
Each pass and each route was run to perfection. Cassone caught five passes covering 27, 5, 15, 12 and the game-winning 19-yard touchdown catch with 34 seconds left. The end result was the Shark’s first victory of the season in front of a wild home crowd at MHS.
“Being able to have such a good performance and to pull it out at the end has helped us come together as a team,” Cassone said of the Shark’s dramatic 32-29 victory. “I want to see us win league and go deep in the playoffs. I just want to have a fun season.”
“Brennan really pulled it out for us. I knew I was going to need him with Apollo and Dylan out,” Gardella explained. “If we were going to score a touchdown, I knew it was going to be to him. We knew it was coming and we knew what we had to do. I can rely on him and I trust him.”
Cassone has caught more than half of Gardella’s 50 pass completions this season. His versatility is invaluable to the Sharks as evident by his ability to start at strong safety on defense and return kicks on special teams. Cassone rarely takes a play off for the Sharks, who suited up only 16 players in their last contest.
“He can play multiple positions for us; at corner, free safety, strong safety, outside linebacker, receiver and running back,” Humphrey said. “It takes a real special player to play both ways. You need to be physically and mentally in shape. I give it up to all the guys who are able to do that. Especially Brennan.”
Malibu (1-2) travels on the road the next two weeks to take on Flintridge Prep and then Webb. The Sharks return home on October 5 to play Bell-Jeff at 3:30 p.m.
For Cassone, each game is precious at MHS as his high school football days begin to slowly wind down.
“I love playing football here at Malibu,” Cassone said. “I used to play football over the hill when I was young and I almost debated whether or not to go to school out there. I decided to stay here and it’s really been one of the best decisions of my life. It’s been awesome.”