MHS football shows promise despite loss in season opener

The Sharks are led by a trio of sophomores, including quarterback Dusty Kramer, who had never before played in a varsity football game.

By Seth Rubinroit / Special to The Malibu Times

The Malibu High School Sharks varsity football team lost their season opener, 20-14, to Burbank’s Bellarmine Jefferson High School in a home game on Saturday.

The young Sharks (0-1) were led by sophomores Dusty Kramer, Sean Conrad, and Justin Hale. Kramer, displaying poise and confidence in his first start as the varsity quarterback, threw a deep touchdown pass to running back Marcus Robbins, and showed his speed in several long scrambles out of pressure.

“[Kramer] did a good job for being a sophomore quarterback and not playing varsity [before],” said Malibu High head coach Ray Humphrey. “He hung in there tight and did well.”

Running back Conrad scored the first touchdown of the season for the Sharks on a long run in the second quarter, returned several kickoffs, and even recovered a fumble playing strong safety on defense.

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“I thought [Conrad] did really well,” Humphrey said. “He stepped up and ran really hard.”

Bellarmine Jefferson displayed the epitome of one-dimensional football by almost exclusively running the football. The Sharks were not able to counter the running attack, and Bellarmine Jefferson scored all three of its touchdowns running the ball.

Late in the fourth quarter, with the Sharks down 20-14, Kramer led a comeback drive up the field. The team advanced just in front of the 30-yard line, but on a fourth down, Bellarmine Jefferson blitzed and was able to force an interception.

The game was played before the first day of school, which Humphrey said had advantages and disadvantages for the team.

“The pro is you don’t have any distractions you have to look at, and the guys are well rested because they get to go home and sleep and don’t have to worry about school and homework,” he said. “The con is you have to start earlier, so you get less of a summer and that sometimes runs into your vacation time.”

Humphrey said he is excited about his young players and the future of the program.

“I expect to win every game,” he said. “We expect to build and to do well. We have a young team, so we need to continue to fight and build the program like it’s supposed to be built.”

The Sharks travel to La Canada on Saturday to take on Flintridge Preparatory School. The game begins at 1:30 p.m., with the junior varsity team playing at 10:30 a.m.

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The Malibu Times is the first newspaper in Malibu, serving the community since 1946.

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