Sharks’ endurance expires

The Malibu High football team was unable to hold on to its lead against the St. Genevieve Valiants, losing by a score of 43-26.

The Sharks entered the game energized, coming off a 20-18 victory over Bellarmine-Jefferson the week before, and after watching the junior varsity squad earn its second win in a row, shutting out the Valiants 21-0.

On Malibu’s first drive, quarterback Victor Tyler connected with a pass to tight end Jesse Conrad for a 39-yard reception, putting the Sharks within field goal range for senior kicker Justin Saul to give the Sharks a 3-0 lead. After the Malibu defense forced a punt, the Sharks forced their way into the end zone on a one-yard run by full back Kyle Parker, giving them a 10-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.

“At first, when we were healthy and able to go, I thought we could do whatever we wanted to,” Malibu head coach Ray Humphrey said. “They couldn’t stop us. They were confused on defense and we were moving the ball.”

After their explosive start, Malibu’s energy began to tail off. Saul recovered a fumble and a passing interference call put the Sharks on the 10-yard line, but they were unable to reach the end zone and ended up missing a field goal. This put the ball back in the hands of the Valiants who ran over the Malibu defense, scoring their first touchdown of the game. After the touchdown, the Sharks again moved into field goal range, but ended up missing their second field goal of the game. The seemingly dominant Sharks began to slow in the water, and the Valiants entered halftime with momentum on their side despite trailing 10-7.

The third quarter began with little defensive effort on either side, and there were four lead changes as the two teams traded touchdowns. Saul showed his versatility for the Sharks by scoring two touchdowns in the quarter, one on a 66-yard run on a misdirection play, and the other off of a 99-yard kickoff return. When the dust settled at the end of the quarter, the Sharks held a slim lead, 23-21.

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Malibu began the fourth quarter with the ball after a tipped pass was intercepted by defensive end Matthew Mason at the end of the previous quarter. After converting a 4th and 7 on a pass to Conrad, the Sharks extended their lead to five with a field goal by Saul. This marked the last time the Sharks would score in the game, and it seemed they could only watch as St. Genevieve’s quarterback Chris Navarro ran all over their defense and the Valiants scored on three straight touchdown runs. Thus ended the game, with the Valiants seizing the victory, 43-26.

“We started getting tired and taking ourselves out of the game,” Humphrey said. “It was tough, and we got tired. They beat us up physically, and we didn’t have an answer for it.”

The standout player for the Sharks was Saul, a converted soccer player listed as a running back and defensive back, but who also handles field goals, kick offs and kick off returns. Saul finished with 20 of the Sharks’ 26 points, with two field goals, two touchdowns and two extra points. Saul also recovered a fumble for the Sharks.

The loss to the Valiants drops Malibu’s record to 1-2, making them 0-2 at home. The matchup was the first of a four game home stretch for the Sharks, and they return to avenge the loss Friday at 3:30 p.m. against Flintridge Prep.

13StarsManager
https://malibutimes.com
The Malibu Times is the first newspaper in Malibu, serving the community since 1946.

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