Sharks take a bite out of Viewpoint

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Quarterback J.P. O'Fallon blows past a defender. Photo by Sam Rubinroit

The Malibu High School varsity football team outlasted the Viewpoint Patriots in an away game on Saturday, winning 21-20. The Sharks dominated the game in the opening minutes, scoring in their first offensive drive on a throw from quarterback J.P. O’Fallon to wide receiver Graham Ellis, ending the first quarter up 7-0. However, their offense struggled, and by the end of the first half the Sharks had fallen behind 14-7, although they were able to stop one of Viewpoint’s two-point conversion attempts.

The Sharks began the second half slowly, allowing another Viewpoint touchdown, but were again able to stop the Patriot’s 2-point conversion attempt, making the score 20-7 in Viewpoint’s favor. The Viewpoint touchdown appeared to motivate the Sharks, and they answered right back with a touchdown run by Sean Conrad, dropping the Patriot’s lead to six. The Sharks’ defense stiffened, and, on the next drive, after keeping Viewpoint’s offense to only one yard, they forced the Patriots to punt. This put the ball in the Sharks’ hands, and allowed them to score yet again on the ground, with a short run in by quarterback J.P. O’Fallon.

With Malibu High holding the lead, Viewpoint fell apart, allowing O’Fallon to pick off a pass when the Patriots attempted to convert on a crucial fourth down attempt. With time winding down and the Sharks leading 21-20, Malibu High players and fans alike thankfully counted off the seconds to their second win of the season.

The Sharks’ win evened their record at 2-2, coming off their unrelenting shutout victory last week away against St. Monica, 47-0. The Patriots’ loss was their first after opening the season with three wins. The Sharks’ junior varsity team defeated Viewpoint as well, 19-6.

Both games were played on Viewpoint’s new turf field, one of the first games played there. The surface contributed to an early first quarter ankle injury to Malibu wide receiver Charles Vines. In a separate play, Sharks running back Sean Conrad had to be escorted off the field, but he was able to return to finish the game.

In the second half, the Sharks looked like a new team. After the game, coach Ray Humphrey commented on his halftime speech. “I just told the players they were going to have to step up to the challenge if they wanted to come back.” They did just that, and their immovable defense, topped with Viewpoint’s inability to stop the run, led them to their victory. Both Conrad and O’Fallon had outstanding games, as did the team’s linemen, especially Marcus Robbins and Milo Gibson, who were able to hold the Patriots’ offense at bay with key defensive stops late in the game.

The Sharks return home this week to play Daniel Murphy under the lights on Friday at 7 p.m. It is clear the Sharks junior varsity team is also a force to be reckoned with, and they will come into their Thursday home game against Daniel Murphy at 4 p.m. with an undefeated record of 3-0-1.