Sharks unable to sink teeth into Blair

Tailback Sean Conrad looks for room to run in the Sharks' first-round playoff game against Blair High School.

The loss brings an end to a Malibu High football season that saw the team compete in the playoffs for just the third time, as well as earn school records for most points scored in a game and largest victory margin. The improving squad is looking forward to a good 2008 season.

By Sam Rubinroit / Special to The Malibu Times

The Malibu High School varsity football team’s season came to a close on Friday with a 56-0 loss to Blair High School in the first round of the CIF Southern Section playoffs. The Sharks went into the game with a 2-2 record in league play, coming off their 48-14 victory over Animo Leadership last week. However, Blair’s 9-1 record, 4-1 in league play, was even more formidable.

Blair quickly overpowered the Sharks, who fell behind 13-0 in the first quarter. By halftime, the score was 23-0. Malibu lost ground in the third quarter, giving up 33 more points, and making the score 56-0. The Sharks did not give up, and were able to contain the Vikings from there, holding them scoreless in the fourth quarter.

Among other problems, the Sharks’ usually unstoppable rushing was all but shut down. Quarterback J.P. O’Fallon, who had to be taken out late in the game with an injury, led the team with 37 yards. Tailback Sean Conrad ran for 27 yards.

Even though the loss may sting, the Sharks have nothing to be ashamed about. They had an exceptional season this year, earning the largest margin of victory in school history, as well as the most points scored in a game, with their 56-14 victory over Daniel Murphy. The Sharks also made it to the playoffs for the first time since 2004, when-led by then-head coach Rich Lawson-the Sharks defeated the California School for the Deaf, only to lose in the second round to Linfield Christian.

“People told us we couldn’t compete, but we were able to, day in and day out, and that’s huge,” said Malibu head coach Ray Humphrey. “We’ve played with 20 guys all season. We faced adversary all year-long, and I think our biggest accomplishment is just facing that adversary.”

Humphrey, was a significant factor in the team’s success. The third-year coach was named Frontier League Coach of the Year. He said he looks forward to next season.

“I think we’ve got a great group of guys coming back,” Humphrey said. “The seniors really set the tone of how things are supposed to work in this football program, with their leadership and dedication, and never giving up.”

The Sharks had just three starting sophomores who played the entire season: Jesse Conrad, Hunter Parr and Victor Tyler, and look forward to another strong performance next year.

“Next year I think we’ll have a really strong team,” Parr said. “All of our sophomores are looking good, and I definitely think we are going to make the playoffs again.”

The Malibu junior varsity team went 6-3-1 this season, and the varsity squad looks forward to contributions from the players who will be moving up next season.